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did not the same regard, as well as a desire of consistency, suggest to them to add the article " a' in John I. 1. i the word was a God?" We may however easily account for this inconsisiency. The term “God” in Exo jus is applied to Moses, the notion of whose deity they abhor, but as they meant to refer the same term in John 1. 1. to Je. sus (whose deity they are induced by their education to support) they leave the word “God” here without the article “a” and cares fully write it with a capital G. Lastly, if eternity be understood by the phrase " In the beginning” in John 1. 1. and Jesus Christ be literally understood by the “WORD" then we shall not only he compelled to receive Christ as an eternal being but also his apostles. Since Luke (Chap. I. 2.) speaks of himself and his fellow-disciples as "eye witnesses and miuisters of the word from the beginning."
3rdly. I shall now quote the interpretation of this passage by searchers after truth who have been enabled to overcome their early ac. quired prejudices. See Improved version for which the Christian world is indebted to its eminently learned authors. “ The word ] . Jesus is so called because God revealed himself or his word by him.” Newcome. The same title
is given to Christ, Luke 1. 2. For the same reason he is called the Word of life, 1 John I. 1. which passage is so clear and useful a comment upon the proen to the gospel, that it may be proper to cite the whole of it. “That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled of the Word of life. for the Life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you, that eternal Life which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us, that which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." By a similar metonymy Christ is called the Life, the Light, the Way, the Truth, and the Resurrection. See Cappe’s Dissert. vol. I. page 19."
“ In the beginning.] Or, from the first i. e. from the commencement of the gospel dispen. sation, or of the ministry of Christ. This is the usual sense of the word in the writings of this evangelist. John VI. 64, Jesus knew from the beginning, or from the first ; ch. XV. 27, ve have been with me from the heginning. See ch. XVI. 14; 11. 24; III. 11; alsn 1 John 1. 1; II. 7, 8; 2 John 6,7. Nor is this sense of the word uncommon in other passages of the New Testament. 2 Thess. II. 13; Phil. IV. 15; Luke I. 2.”
· "The Word was God.] He withdrew from the world to commune with God, and to receive divine instructions and qualifications previous. ly to his public ministry. As Moses was with God in the mount, Exod. XXXIV. 28, so was Christ in the wilderness, or elsewhere, to be instructed and disciplined for his high and ima portant office. See Cappe, ibid. p. 22."
" And the Word was a God.) « was God," Newcome. Jesus received a commission as a prophet of the Most High, and was invested with extraordinary miraculous powers. But in the Jewish phraseology they were called gods to whom the word of God came. John X. 35. So Moses is declared to be a god to Pharoah. Exod. VII. 1. Some translate the passage, God was the Word. q d. it was not so proper. ly he that spake to men as God that spake to them by him. Cappe, ibid. See John X.30. compared with XVII. 8, II. 16; 111. 34; V. 23; XII. 44. Crellius conjectured that the true reading was Oct, the Word was God's q. d. The first teacher of the gospel derived his commis. sion from God. But this conjecture, however plausible, rests upon no authority.”
“ Was in the beginning with God ] Before he entered upon his ministry he was fully instructed, by intercourse with God, in the nature and extent of his commission."
" All things were done by him.). “ All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Newcome: who explains it of the creation of the visible material world by Christ, as the agent and instument of God. See his notes on ver. 3. and 10. But this is a singe which the word eyevero will not admit. yivouae occurs upwards of seven hundred times in the New Testament, but never in the sense of create. It signifies in this gospel, where it occurs fifty-three times, to be, to come, to become, to come to pass : also, to be done or transacted, chap. XV. 7; XIX. 36. It has the latter sense, Matt. V. 18; VI. 8; XXI. 42; XXVI. 6. All things in the ('hris. tian dispensation were done by Christ, i. e. by his authority, and according to his direction; and in the ministry committed to his apostles nothing has been done without his warrant. See John XV. 4, 5, “ Without me ye can do nothing.” Compare ver. 7, 10, 16; John XVII. 8; Col. I. 16, 17. Cappe, ibid."
Verse 14.“ Nevertheless, the Word was flesh. “ Though this first preacher of the gospel was honoured with such signal tokens of divine confidence and favour, though he was invested with so high an oflice, he was, nevertheless, a mortal man.” Cappe. In this sense the word flesh is used in the preceding verse. " Flesh,"
says Mr. Livdsay, Sequel to the Apology, p. 136, “ is frequently put for man.” Psalm LXV. 2; Rom. III. 20. But it frequently and pecu.' liarly stands for man as mortal; subject to infirmities and sufferings : aud as such is particularly appropriated to Christ here, and in: other places. 1 Tim. III. 16 ; Rom. I. 3; IX.' 5; 1 Pet. III. 18; IV. 1, o doyos oapš eyevero, the Word was flesh, not became flesh, which is Newcome's translation, or, was made flesh, which is the common version. The most usual meaning of yevoua, is to be. In this sense eyeveto is used in this chapter, ver. 6; also in Luke XXIV. 19. The things concerning lesus of Nazareth, ós EyevSto, who was, not who became & prophet. See Cappe, p. 86; and Socinus in
Now my readers may judge which of these interpretations of Jobn I. 1. is consistent wtith scriptural authority and conformable to the buman understanding.
· The Editor denies positively the charge of admitting three Gods, though he is in the practice of worshiping God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. I could wish to know what he would say when a Hindoo also would deny polytheism on the same principle, that if three separate persons be admitted to