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all probability, be a large sum of tured. They are beginning to be wickedness, for which responsibi- feared-the people express their lily attaches somewhere :--but a apprehensions in their devotionswar can never be perfectly just on but is there nothing to reform a. bulb sides, and what an amount mongst us, and should we not carry of crime does that nation run up our penitence as well as our supthat wages unjust war, especially plications to the throne of the if such war be long protracted, Divine Majesty! and more especially if it be It is not meant that this coun. withal very sanguinary!--A war, try alone is criminal ; patriotism however, ibat is just in its origin does not require us to stille the becomes unjust, whenever ex. wish that she were! but it is for tended beyond the limits, or con- ourselves that we have to treat tinued beyond the moment pre. with heaven; and will any man scribed by dire necessity. Wars of reflection maintain that our ravaging all Europe, all the known late wars have been all right in world, and filling up nearly the their origin, all right in their con. third part of the space of man's duct? Yet the moral wrong of life, import peculiar !nalignancy, war is an amazing complication of in one, or some, or perhaps all, evil, demanding manifold retriof the belligerents. But every party bution. justifies its own quarrel, and ap- Individuals, it may be plead. peals to posterity to pronounce ed, can do but little whether toupon ihe justice of its cause, and wards national good or national confidently looks to heaven for evil; but the community is comsuccess. We are all thus deceiving posed of individuals; and in the ourselves : we fast for strife, and, order of providence, individuals with feet swift to shed blood, weat are responsible for the acts of a once tread and pollute the Chris. nation, they suffer in its advertian sanctuary.
sity or enjoy its prosperity. The · Long.continued, widely-extend. pretended insignificance of indivi. ed and sanguinary war brings home duals is only a cloak for indolence, to a people, bow secure soever or something worse : in a free from the immediate, manual vio- stale, the declared opinion and lence of hostility, some portion of feeling of individuals, when forits evils. Great Britain, for in. tified by reason and humanity, siaoce, after fighting for nearly 20 must act powerfully upon the years, now finds herself as far as Government : but where, for these ever from any one of the objects many years, have any individuals she proposed to herself by war; lifted up the voice of reason and while at the same time she sees ber humanity against the continuance commerce gone, and with it the or even the extension of war? source of revenue to the govern-. Our silence has been a virtual bent and of subsistence to the peo. concurrence with our government, ple. The evil has not yet got to its whose measures, therefore, in all head; for taxation will go on in their merit or demerit, we have creasing in the same proportion made our own. In truth, we that trade is decreasing; and the have breathed in impure air, till sad consequences to individuals and the vital sentiments of morality the public cannot be even conjec. (of public justice and charity,)
are nearly extinguished within us :) there any thing in our religion, WE HAVE LOST TILE WISH FOR upon which our hopes may safely PEACE : WE SEEM TO HAVE AC- fced? Or rather, must not solemn QUIRED A LOVE OF WAR, AND-self.examination, on such a day FOR ITS OWN SAKE! iili as this, convict us of a disregard
At the present moment, in the of the royal law of love, and of midst of unexampled difficulties disaffection to the Prince of Peace? and dangers, we are about to These reflections, springing from plunge into a new war, with the a heart that is touched with the people whose amity is most im. wretched state of the world, are portant to us, the only free peo. humbly addressed to conscientious ple in the world besides ourselves, Christians : men of the world will the people who sprung from us, not take their measure of duty and are related to us by language, from the man of Nazareth, or manners and religion: this new square their hopes and their fears war will be, in all probability, by the rule of gospel charity ;= * ruinous to one or other, or both though by what standard of right of the parties,but though the they can justify our country, or consequences of hostility may be from what source they can draw dreadful, the causes are compara. any consolatory expectations, 'it is tively rrivial or unintelligible: and for them to explain: but let Chrisyet no sentiment of disapprobation tians remember that they cannot or of apprehension is expressed, identify themselves with such méh,
jů any part of the kingdom; no in all their sentiments and pat. *petition is preferred even for delay suits, without abdicating their own
or caution. Thus uninstructed, proper character, and that if while ' unchecked by the people, an in- they are in the world they be 'also
considerate and warlike adminis. of it, to the world they must look tration will soon, it is to be feared, for their reward. commence a contest, which, what. The writer is not called upon ever may be the final issue of it, or disposed to decide between the will certainly aggravate the hor- rival parties in the state ; he berors, widen the calamities and pro- lieves that they are right and long the reign of the war, to the wrong by turns; his sole wish is miseries of which the nation and a to see a new party spring up, a great part of the world have been Christian party, that shall temper subjected, during the whole pe. the bitterness of animosity at hoine, riod that the infant from the cradle as well as allay the fierce spirit of has grown to manhood,
war tlrat is raging abroad. In ex. Is this apathy and ineriness pressing this wish, he is at the compatible with the duty of a same time aware that he subjects Christian people? With so cul. himself to the imputation of sinis. pable a silence before the altar of ter and even malignant designs ; Humanity, can we expect to be for it is one of the unhappy fruits heard before the shrine of Relic of the martial temper, that neugion? Have we any reason, with- trality of heart is not allowed to out a change of temper and con. individuals, in the midst of national duct, to reckon upon the protec- contentions, and that a love of tion of Providence, the benedic. peace is accounted want of patrie, tion of the Father of mercies? Is otism.
! AND INQUIRIES AND DISQUISITIONS ON ECCLESIASTI.
On John viïi. 58. " Abraham saw, his day,' verse
Sep. 7, 1811. . 56, he did not mean, that Abra. As my ideas respecting the pro- ham saw the person himself, (i, e. per translation and interpretation Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Ma. of John viii. 58, laid before the ry) whose day he saw ; since he public in a periodical work, be- could not be ignorant of the truth tween 20 and 30 years ago, ap- of the reply made by the Jews pear now to me to have been er. “Thou art not yet 50 years old," roneous, I hold it to be right pub- verse 57. licly also to acknowledge what I . 4. That the Jews, however, at present regard as an error, and supposed or pretended to suppose, to give what, upon a re-examina- that Jesus had said what was tan. tion of this celebrated passage, I tamount with declaring that Abra. have been recently led to consider ham had seen him himself, the as its genuine sense and design. very identical person standing be. No one, I imagine, can be justly fore them in the form and figure of censured for. owning and correct. a man, and accordingly inferred, ing a misapprehension, into which that, if that had been the case, he be conceives himself to have fallen. must also have seen Abraham and I, therefore, beg leave to offer for been alive at the same time with insertion in your Repository him, which the uncontradicted D's. Second Thoughts on John observation ihey had just made viii. 58.
shows they could not admit. . I am not aware, that any well. 5. That Jesus perceived, and founded objections can be made to could not but perceive and grant, the following positions-vize that he could not have been living,
1. That Jesus meant the same as a son of Mary, or an inhabitant kind of being and the same identical of Nazureth, in or before the days being by the word (syw) I, in the of Abraham, and, therefore, could 58th verse, as by (us) me, with not intend to assert the one or the which (av putov) a man, stands in other to have been a fact. apposition in the 40th verse of ch. 6. That if therefore Jesus really viii. in John's gospel. Both occur meant by his words, verse 58, that in the same discourse; and there there was a sense, in which he is not the slightest intimation of was before Abraham, he must have their being used in different senses. intended to assert, ihat he (Jesus į 2. That by (aybpwTov) a man, of Nazareth) existed or was before Jesus meant that individual visible Abraham in the contemplation, ap. being, whom the Jews saw stand. pointment or decree of the Deity. ing, and heard conversing with 7. That all evenis whatsoever them.
having been known to the Infinite 3. That when Jesus said, Mind from all eternity, and there'VOL. VII.
fore, frum all eternity, equally (Jesus) was (not only in being as objects of its contemplation, if our their senses must convince them, Lord's meaning had been that but also) in actual possession of stated in “the preceding position, the title and character of the though he would have advanced a Christ or Messiah, by whose means strict truism, yet it would have Abraham was to be raised to the been no more than might have honour destined for him by the been said of any other individual Supreme Disposer of events, and of the great patriarch's posterity who consequently, as the instru. with equal truth and propriety. ment to be employed in advancing In such a sense of our Lord's him to that bonour, was his supe. words there would have been no. rior. thing exclusively appropriate to The learned reader will observe, his circumstances--nothing likely that the translation I would now to silence the Jews, nothing adapi. give of the words aply Abcaape ye. ed to convince thein of the just- verbal, Eyw alph, is . Before Abra. ness of the claim, which they evi- ham shall be or shall exist, I am dently supposed him to have laid he, or the Christ," without the to a superiority to Abraham, and supposition of any ellipsis in the which seems plainly to have been former clause, and that I under. the subject of the latter part at stand yeyeoba to denote mere er. least of the conversation. See par. istence, though under a particular ticularly verse 51--53, 56. character. That yiroua signifies
8. That if neither Jesus nor the same as alles in two passages Abraham existed the one before at least of Joho's gospel, ch, xiii. the other in the divine contempla. 2. xx. 27, is noticed by Schleus. tion or appointment, our Lord did ner. I refer also to H. Steph. not speak of simple existence, in Gr. Thes. But that such is not whatever language he spoke, if the unfrequently the signification of words he employed were of the yoyouas in various Greek writers, I same import with Eifel and yevs.gai, am not aware of being denied. I loy whatever tenses in English find some of the ablest writers those Greek words be translated, among the old Socinians so far but of existence under certain cha. from allowing the common interracters respectively belonging to pretation of the former clause of the two persons mentioned in the the text under consideration, that dispute; and that the Jews accord- they even presume to call it a baringly understood Jesus to assert, barism. To their reasoning in fathat Abraham (of their natural vour of my way of translating this descent from whom they so proud. clause, I beg leave to refer. See ly boasted) was not yet in being, Socini Opera, v. i. p. 379, 380, or did not yet erist, in the charac- 504, 505. Enjedini Explicati. ter and relation, which God had ones, &c. p. 224. Crellii Opera, changed his name to denote that v. 3. p. 93, 94. Woltzogenius in he sheuld one day sustain, and loc, Artemonius in initium evan. which would afford his natural gelii Joannis, v, 2. Diss. iv. p descendants much better grounds 614. for glorying in him than they could A s to the translation of the lat. have before; but that he himself ter clause (Eyw, Eljus) by a preterite tense (I was) instead of the pre. The question of the Jews, V. sent(I am,) the same authors appear 53, in reply to our Lord's words, to me to have produced very cogent v. 52, shows, that they thought arguments for not admitting it, and him to have claimed a superiority to have satisfactoriiy shewn the to Abraham; and this seems evi. authorities they had seen adduced dently to have been the principal in its favour to be irrelevant. To point in dispute between them. them may be added Dr. Dod. The Jews, having no better argudridge, who says, in a note on the ment to offer in support of their verse, “I cannot apprehend, that side of the question, urge his com. syw Elue is ever used for I was.” paratively recent birth to prove Mr. Juhn Simpsun, in his excel. that Abraham could not bave been lent work on " Internal and Pre. seen by him. Jesus, confining sumptive Evidences for Christiani. his attention to the great and ty, &c." part iv. ch. vii. sect, ii, leading point under discussion, entitled, “ Prophecies uttered by acts, as upon other occasions, and Christ, and their fulfilment,” p. passing by unnoticed the query 537, note 2, says “ Els is used to just put to him as intended to em. express future time, John viii. 58, barrass him by the introduction of as Jesus also uses it, Johni xvii. 24." a quite different subject from what From this observation I should in. had been talked about before, asfer, that this learned critic is not serts, with a solemnity perfectly one of those who translate moly suitable to the importance of the A Spaau ysverhan, before Abrahain fact he maintains, viz. that of his was; for what can be meant by being himself the Christ, and of “before Abraham was, I shall be?" Abraham's not then existing under
Though Abraham may never the character denoted by the name be used in the New Testament but given him by the Deity, though as a proper name, yet in several about to be brought into existence passages it seems to have been em. under that 'character through his ployed to express the peculiar cha. means. This is the fact, I take racter and relation implied by the to be affirmed by our Lord here, name, and to shew the Jews, whe- and to signify the same thing as ther they chose to allow it or not, he affirmed at another time when that there was an important sense, he said, “ Other sheep I have in which he was to be considered which are not of this fold,” John as the father of other nations be- x. 16, clearly referring to the side their's. See Gal. iii. 7, 29. converts whom his apostles would Rom, ch, iv, particularly verse 16 make among the gentiles, when and 18. More may be found on the founder of the Jewish nation this subject in Enjedinus, p, 222 would have a right to the name, -224 ; Slichtingius in loc. Ar- which till then could be applied temonius, v. 2. p. 618; Socinus, to him only by way of anticipativ. 1. p. 505; Crellius, v. 3. p. on. Our Lord's words thus un. 94: the last author refers to tran. derstood contain, as Woltzogenius sitions from the names of persons pronounces, a proposition worthy to the things signified by them in of Christ. See Woltzogenius in the words Jacob, Naomi, Pe- loc. Socinus, 'v. 1, p. 505; Crel. ter,
lius, V. 3. p. 93.