THE first part of the following Remarks on the uses of the definitive article in the Greek Text of the New Testament was printed in the second Fasciculus of the Museum Oxoniense. A Supplement to the Re­marks was at the same time promised to be published in the third Fasciculus of the Museum. But as many learned friends concurred with the Editor in thinking that the Remarks contain a very valuable accession to the evidences of Christ's divinity, he was unwilling to detain the Supplement, which exemplifies the Rules of the Remarks, any longer from the publick, and has there­fore prevailed on Mr Sharp to permit him to publish it with the Remarks. He earnestly recommends them both to Mr Wakefield's most deliberate consideration.

To Mr Sharp's Remarks and Supplement he has subjoined a plain historical proof of the divinity of Christ founded on Christ's own testimony of himself attested and interpreted by his living witnesses and enemies, [Page vi]the Jews,—on the evidence of his trial and crucifix­ion, and on the most explicit declarations of the A­postles after the Resurrection of Christ. What ap­peared to him to be a substantial and unanswerable ar­gument, he has, in this little exercise on the subject, en­deavoured to render an easy and popular proof, of our Saviour's divinity. It was printed separately for the use of the unlearned part of his parishioners, and is subjoin­ed to this treatise for the convenience of other unlearned readers, and such as may not have much considered the subject.


  • RULE I. When two personal nouns, of the same cafe, are connected by the copulative [...], if the former has the definitive article, and the latter has not, they both relate to the same person. page 4
    • 1. [...], 5
    • 2. [...], 22
    • 3. [...], 23
    • 4. [...], 26
    • 5. [...], 29 30
    • 6. [...], 34
    • 7. [...], 34
    • 8. [...], 35
    Common Version.
    • 1. The God and Father of our Lord.
    • 2. To God, even the Father.
    Corrected Version.
    • 3. In the kingdom of Christ, even of God.
    • 4. According to the grace of Jefus Christ, our God and Lord.
    • [Page viii]5. Before Jesus Christ, the God and Lord; or, our God and Lord; for the definitive article has some­times the power of a possessive pro­noun.
    • 6. The glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.
    • 7. Through the righteousness of Jesus Christ, our God and Sa­viour.
    • 8. And denying our only Mas­ter, God, and Lord, Jesus Christ.
    Common Version.
    • [Page]3. In the kingdom of Christ, and of God.
    • 4. According to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    • [Page viii]5. Before God, and the Lord Je­sus Christ.
    • 6. The glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.
    • 7. Through the righteousness of God, and of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
    • 8. And denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • RULE II. If both nouns have the article, but not the copu­lative, they relate to the same person, page 7
  • RULE III. If the first has the article, and the second has not, and there is no copulative, they relate also to the same person, 9
  • RULE IV. If the nouns are not personal, they relate to differ­ent things, or qualities, 10
  • RULE V. If personal nouns, of the same case, are connected by the copulative, and the first has not the arti­cle, they relate to different persons, 11
  • RULE VI. If they are connected by the copulative, and both have the article, they relate also to different persons, 12



WHEN I look upon the date of your last oblig­ing letter, I am much ashamed that I have so long neglected to acknowledge the receipt of it. The truth is, I began a letter a few days afterwards; but recol­lecting that I had written on the same subject (viz. the use of the Greek article [...] and copulative [...]) to a very learned friend, at a great distance in the coun­try, I was willing to wait for his answer, lest it should oblige me to make any alterations in my rules; and so, indeed, it [...] proved; for he objected to my first rule (as it was then stated) and has cited several ex­ceptions to it, which [...] thought sufficient to set it entirely aside: but this, I am convinced, is going too far, and would be [...] injury to truth. The use there­fore [Page 4]which I have made of my friend's objections, has been, to correct my rule, and add to it such li­mitations as might include the several exceptions, cited by my learned friend, as well as others, that are similar to them.

The waiting for my friend's answer and the neces­sary corrections in consequence of it, together with a variety of other engagements, has prevented me from complying with your request so soon as I could have wished; but I shall now submit to your consi­deration and candour, the rules in question; and beg that you will be pleased to favour me with whatever examples may occur in the course of your reading, either as exceptions to invalidate the first rule, or as proofs to establish and confirm it. The reasons of my recommending the first rule more particularly to your attention, is, because it is of much more con­sequence than any of the rest, as it will enable us (if the truth of it be admitted) to correct the translation of several important texts in the present English ver­sion of the New Testament, in favour of a fundamen­tal article of our church, which has, of late, been much opposed and traduced, I mean the belief that our Lord Jesus Christ is truly God.


When the copulative [...] connects two nouns of the same case [viz. nouns (either substantive, or adjective; [Page 5]or participles) of personal description respecting office, dignity, affinity, or connection, and attributes, properties or qualities good or ill] if the article [...], or any of it's cases, preceeds the first of the said nouns or participles, and is not repeated before the second noun or participle, the latter always relates to the same person that is ex­pressed or described by the first noun or participle; i. e. it denotes a further description of the first named person, as— [...] Matt. xii. 22. And again [...]. 2 Cor. i. 3. This last sentence contains two examples of the first rule. See also in 2 Cor. xi. 31, [...] &c. Also in Eph. vi. 21, [...]. Also in Heb. iii. 1, [...], &c. See also in 2 Pet. ii. 20,— [...], &c. And again in 2 Pet. iii. 2,— [...]. And again in 2 Pet iii. 18,— [...]. Also in Philippians iv. 20,— [...], &c. In Rev. xvi. 15,— [...], &c. And in Col. ii. 2,— [...], *, [...], &c. And in 1 Thef. iii. 11,— [...] [Page 6]This solemn ejaculation for the divine direc­tion is addressed jointly to the God and Father, and to our Lord Jesus *; (so that here is good authority for offering up prayers to Christ, which some have lately opposed) and the distinction of the persons is preserved (as in the last example) by again inserting the article [...] before [...], which had been omitted before [...]. The apostle James also used the same mode of expression— [...], &c. James i. 27. And there are at least a do­zen other places, viz. (Rom. xv. 6.1. Cor. xv. 24. Gal. i. 4. Ephes. v. 20. Col. i. 3, and 12 and iii. 17. 1 Thes. i. 3. 1 Thes. iii. 13. 2 Thes. ii. 16. James iii. 9. Rev. i. 6.) wherein "the God and Father" is mentioned exactly according to this rule; and there is no exception or instance of the like mode of expression that I know of, which necessarily [Page 7]requires a construction different from what is here laid down; EXCEPT the nouns be proper names, or in the plural number; in which cases there are many exceptions; though there are not wanting exam­ples, even of plural nouns, which are expressed ex­actly agreeable to this rule.

As the examples which I have annexed to my first rule consist of texts, wherein the sense is so plain, that there can be no controversy concerning the par­ticular persons, to whom the several nouns are ap­plicable, it will be thought, I hope, that I have al­ready cited a sufficient number of them to authen­ticate and justify the rule. There are several other texts wherein the mode of expression is exactly simi­lar, and which therefore do necessarily require a construction agreeable to the same rule, though the present English verson has unhappily rendered them in a different sense, and has thereby concealed from the mere English reader many striking proofs con­cerning the Godhead ( [...] Col. ii. 9.) of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The rules which follow are intended only to illustrate the particula­rity of the several sentences which fall under the first rule, by shewing in other sentences, the different senses that are occasioned by adding, omiting, or repeating the article as well with the copulative as without it.


A repetition of the article before the second noun, if the copulative be omitted, will have the same effect and [Page 8]power: for it also denotes a further description of the same person, property or thing, that is expressed by the first noun; as in the following examples.

[...] Luke i. 47.— [...], &c. Luke ii. 26. [...], John i. 29. [...], John iv. 42.— [...], John v. 23. [...], John vi. 27. This verse contains three examples. [...], &c. John xx. 31. — [...] * [...] [Page 9]&c. Heb. xiii. 20. This sentence also contains three examples.


Except when genitive cases depend on one another in succession, as [...], 2 Cor. iv. 3. And again [...] &c. Colos. ii. 2.


And the omission of the copulative between two or more nouns (of the same case) of personal description or appli­cation, even without the article before the second noun, will have the same effect; viz. will denote a further description of the same person, property or thing, that is expressed by the first noun; as in the follow­ing examples.

[Page 10] [...], Rom. ii. 19, 20.

[...], * [...]Ephes. v. 20, 21. [...]&c. Tit. i. 1. [...], [...], 1. Tim. i. 1.


Yet it is otherwise when the nouns are not of person­al description, or application; for then they denote di­stinct things or qualities, as [...]. [Page 11]1 Tim. i. 2. 2 Tim. i. 2. Titus i. 4. * See also 2 John 3, [...].


And also when there is no article before the first noun, the insertion of the copulative [...] before the next noun, or name, of the same case, denotes a different person or thing from the first; as in the following examples. [...]&c. James i. 1. [...]. Ephes. iv. 31. This last sentence contains four examples of the fifth rule. [...]. 2 Cor. i. 2. 1 Ephes. i. 2. Gal. i. 3. Philem. 3. [...]. Ephes. vi. 23.

[Page 12]EXCEPT the numerical adjective [...] precedes the first noun, in which case the copulative [...] will have the same effect that it has between two nouns where only the first is preceded by the article, agreeable to the first rule, as [...]. Ephes. iv. 6.


And as the insertion of the copulative [...] between nouns of the same case without articles (according to the fifth rule) denotes that the second noun expresses a different person, thing, or quality from the preced­ing noun, so likewise, the same effect attends the copu­lative, when each of the nouns are preceded by articles; as in the following examples.— [...]. John i. 17. [...]. John ii. 22.— [...]. John xi. 44. [...]. Col. ii. 2.— [...]. 2 Tim. i. 5.— [...]. 1 Pet. iv. 11.

[Page 13]EXCEPT distinct and different actions are intended to be attributed to one and the same person, in which case if the sentence is not expressed agreeable to the three first rules, but appears as an exception to this sixth rule, or even to the fifth, (for this exception re­lates to both rules) the context must explain, or point out plainly the person to whom the two nouns relate, as in 1 Thess. iii. 6, [...], &c. And also in John xx. 28, [...]. If the two nouns (viz. [...] and [...]) were the leading nominative substantives of a sentence, they would express the descriptive qualities or dignities of two distinct persons according to the sixth rule; but, in this last text, two distinct divine characters are applied to one per­son only; for the context clearly expresses to whom the words were addressed by Thomas; which perspicu­ity in the address clearly proves, likewise, the futility of that gloss for which the Arians and Socinians contend; viz. that Thomas could not mean that Christ was his God, but only uttered, in his surprize, a solemn exclamation or ejaculation to God. The text, however, expressly relates, that our Lord first addressed himself to Thomas: [...] (that is without doubt, to JESUS) [...]. So that both these distinct titles (for they are plainly mentioned as distinct) were manifestly ad­dressed [...] to that one person Jesus, to whom Thomas [Page 14]replied, as the text expressly informs us. The lan­guage is so plain, when the whole context is consi­dered, that the Socinian perversion of it is notori­ous. See also 1 Cor. i. 24,— [...], * and Acts ii. 36. There are also other exam­Ples of this exception, which equally prove that Christ is God, as [...]. [...]. Rev. i. 17, 18.

These are the words of him whom John saw [...], with a two edged sword proceeding out of his mouth; which was undoubtedly a representa­tion of the [...], or word of God, as this declara­tion alludes plainly to his death and resurrection. [...]. And again in the second chapter, ver. 8. [...] (and the same infallible mark of distinction is ad­ded, to prove which of the divine persons is here to be understood) [...]. Now though the explanation which Grotius has given us of these titles ( [...]) is certainly true when ap­plied to Christ, yet it does not appear to be the whole truth, or the full meaning that ought to be attribu­ted to these titles, either in the Revelation or else where; for they have a manifest reference to the supreme titles of the Almighty in the first chapter, & 8th verse, (which also contains examples of this excep­tion) [Page 15] [...]. And in the 22d chapter, 13th verse, where these titles, [...], are, manifestly by the context, to be under­stood as the titles of Christ, we find them explained by these other titles [...], to which Grotius has attributed a much inferior and less com­prehensive meaning. [...]. And as I have shewn in my Tract on the Law of Nature, &c. p. 270 and 271 that these titles, "the first and the last," are ancient titles of Jehovah in the Old Testament, to declare his eternal existence, there can be no just reason for giving them an inferior sense, when they are appli­ed to Christ, who was truly Jehovah, as a variety of texts do demonstrate. [Law of Nature, p. 248, to 345.]

Another example of the exception to the fifth rule occurs in the Rev. xx. 2,— [...]. These are two different names or appellatives attributed (by the explanatory words [...]) to the same Old Serpent.


The various uses of the article and copulative, expressed in the five last rules and their exceptions, must amply illustrate, to every attentive reader, the difference and particularity of those sentences which fall under the first and principal rule; and therefore I may now proceed with more confidence to point out several important corrections that ought to be [Page 16]made in our common translation of the New Testa­ment, if the several sentences, which fall under the first rule, be duly weighed and considered;—correc­tions which may be fairly defended, I apprehend, by the authority of the several examples from which these rules were formed.


Of sentences, which fall under the FIRST RULE, and are improperly rendered in the English version.

Example I. 2 Pet, i. 1.— [...]. As the Article [...] is not repeated before the next descriptive noun [...], it is manifest that both the nouns are to be referred to one and the same person; and therefore, in order to turn it into an intelligible English phrase, the proper name to which the two descriptive nouns re­fer ought to be placed first, as ‘By the righteous­ness of Jesus Christ OUR GOD, and our SAVIOUR.’ Among the various readings collected by Curcel­laeus, it appears, that, in some copies, the word [...] was not repeated after [...], and I have by me twen­ty different editions (including those of Erasmus, Stephens, Dr. Mill, Bengelius, &c.) which follow that reading; viz. [...]; in which case a literal rendering into English will sufficiently express the sense of the Greek, without transposing the proper name, viz. Through the righteousness of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. The sense and purport, however, [Page 17]is exactly the same in both the readings, and, in the old English editions, has generally been expressed in the terms required by my first rule; viz. In the righteousness that cometh of oure God and Saviour Je­su Christ (fol. edit. 1549.)—Through the righ­teousnesse of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. (12mo edit. 1595.)—By the righteousnesse of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ. (4to edit. 1599.) —The righteousness of Jesus Christ our God and Sa­viour. (margin of the folio, edit. 1611.) And even in the margin of our present version, the pro­per reading is inserted, of our God and Saviour, manifestly referring both titles to one person. The learned Beza also remarks on the words of this text, Ista necesse est conjunctim legamus, quia unicus est ar­ticulus, ut copiosius diximus Tit. ii. 13. Itaque conti­net etiam hic locus manifestum divinitatis Christi testi­monium. The two nouns are referred to Christ also in the Syriac version. There seems, therefore, to be ample authority for my first rule.

Exam. II. Titus ii. 13.— [...]. In some few copies a comma is inserted between [...] and [...], but with­out authority. The abovementioned note of Beza upon this text, is too long to be inserted here at [...]ength, and therefore I must refer you to the author himself. He insists, however, that these two titles do not refer to two distinct persons, because the article [...] omitted before the second. In the present Eng­lish [Page 18]version it is rendered the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ: but so great is the difference between the idiom of the Greek tongue, and that of the English, that a literal translation will not always express the same sense, without some little transposition in the order of the words; and therefore, though the pronoun [...] is placed after the two descriptive nouns that are ap­plicable only to one person as they are expressed in the Greek, yet the rendering of the said pronoun in English ought to be PREFIXED to the said descriptive nouns, in order to express the same sense in a proper English phrase; as, the glorious appearing of OUR great God and Saviour Jesus Christ. This is the rendering of the learned Hugh Broughton, accor­ding to a printed English bible, corrected with a pen, in my collection. It might, indeed, be literally ren­dered without transposition of the pronoun, viz. the great God and Saviour OF US,’ instead of ‘OUR great God and Saviour; but the latter is more agreeable to the general mode of expressing that pronoun in English. Thus Christ is not only enti­tled God, but even the "great God," according to the plainest grammatical construction of the text; and indeed, if we duly weigh the evidence of his being really Jehovah, and one with the Father, [ [...]: the plural verb [...] ("we are") marking the plurality, or distinction of more person than one, as much as the noun [...] marks the unity of [Page 19]their existence] he must necessarily be esteemed the great God, * because there is but ONE GOD. G. S.




The warning of the apostle Paul to the presby­ters of the church of Ephesus, which is thus ren­dered in the common english version, ‘Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock over which the holy Ghost hath made you over­seers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.’

In the Alexandrian MS. and a few other MSS. instead of [...], which is the most general reading, the word [...] is substituted; but many old MSS. have both words, [...], whereby the text is brought within the construction of the 1st rule, [Page 22]and should be rendered,—"To feed the church of the Lord, even of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood."

Though there is no word in the Greek to cor­respond with this word "even," so as that it might be deemed a literal rendering, yet this english word is frequently used by our translators to ex­press the identity of person, when a copulative, in the greek text, joins a second substantive (i. e. of personal description without an article,) to the former substantive, preceded by an article, agree­able to the first rule, as in Romans, xv. 6. [...] and I. Cor. xv. 24. [...]. both of which are rendered,—"God, even the father," (in­stead of the literal rendering the God and father) that the identity of person may be the more obvious. See also II. Cor. i. 3. [...]. This sentence contains two succes­sive examples of the first rule, and is rendered ‘Bles­sed be God, even the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, and the God of all comfort’ See also James iii. 9. [...] I. Thess. iii. 13. [...]. II. Thess. ii. 16. [...]. Besides these six examples, where­in the word even, in the english version, expresses the the copulative, there are also 13* other examples of [Page 23]the first rule, in the New Testament: i. e. altoge­ther 19 examples, respecting our heavenly father alone; and therefore the 9 examples of the same mode of expression, produced in this and the fol­lowing pages, respecting the son, and holy spirit, ought certainly to be rendered in a sense suitable to the same uniform rule of construction, to ex­press the identity of persons, because the same mode of grammatical expression is used in them all.



In the common english version the sentence is rendered "no whoremonger &c." hath any inheri­tance in the kingdom of Christ, and of God. As if two persons had been mentioned in the original text; but as the part of the sentence, above cited, is the generally approved reading of the printed greek copies, and as this reading is confirmed by the Alexandrian MS. and by all other greek MSS. of known authority, it affords an unquestionable proof against the apostacy of the Socinians in their denial of divine honour to our Lord the Christ, or Messiah, who, according to the idiom of the greek Tongue, is in this text expressly entitled [...], "GOD," though the proof does not appear in the english version. Let it be remarked that the two substan­tives [Page 24]of personal description [...] and [...] are joined by the copulative [...], and that the article [...] pre­ceeds the first, and that there is no article before the word [...], whereby, according to the first rule, both titles are necessarily to be applied to one and the same person, and (if literally rendered in eng­lish) should be—"hath not inheritance in the king­of the Christ and God." But this literal rendering does not sufficiently express the necessary doctrine of the greek, that the Christ is also God, and there­fore, to help the english idiom, and to accommodate the rendering more strictly to the true meaning of the greek, the name of Jesu, which is necessary to be understood, might very fairly be inserted in italies, or between hooks, to supply the necessary sense of the greek;—as "in the kingdom of (Jesus) the Christ and God:" or else to be rendered —"in the kingdom of Christ (even) of God"— as recommended in the first example.



This is rendered in our common version,—‘For we are the circumcision, which worship God IN the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.’

In the London Polyglott, and many other valu­able [Page 25]editions, the reading is [...], but in the Alexandrian MS. it is [...], which seems to be the true reading; because the other is so unusual an expression, that the generality of translators have forced a construction, which the context itself cannot fairly bear, even if the da­tive case, [...], was admitted to be the true reading, unless another word, the preposition [...], be also added to it before [...], as in John iv. 23. and Rom. viii. 9. where the sense, which they have ap­plied to this text, was really intended; but, without this addition, (as we may fairly judge by those ex­amples) the literal rendering ought to be, ‘We are the circumcision, who worship the spirit God. Whereas they have commonly rendered it as if the preposition [...] was really inserted in this text before the dative [...], as in the two examples before cited, viz. "Qui spiritu servimus dec." or Qui spi­ritu colimus Deum or as in the Syriac version "Qui deo servimus in spiritu." (fyr.) or as in the common english version, Which worship God in the spirit. But there is no such preposition in the greek. The difficulty therefore of rendering the common reading ( [...]) without supposing this addition of EN to be understood before [...], proves that the reading of the Alexandrian MS. in this text is really to be prefered, [...] * [Page 26] [...] "who worship the spirit of God," whereby the apostle and Timothy, as an example to the church at Philippi, assert their profession that they pay divine honour to the spirit of God, and that they glory in Christ.

EXAMPLE, IV. 11. THESS. i. 12.


This, in the common english version, is render­ed (very erroneously) as if two distinct persons were mentioned, viz. "according to the grace of our God, and the Lord Jesus Christ." But if two distinct persons had really been intended to be expressed as (by innumerable examples of the grammatical construction of sentences for the accurate distinc­tion of persons peculiar to the greek tongue, used in the greek testament, from which the preceeding rules were formed) may be demonstrated, the arti­cle would have been repeated (according to the sixth rule) after the copulative and before the se­cond substantive [...]. For it is manifest that the [Page 27]insertion of the comma, in some greek copies, after [...], is a modern interpolation; because the expe­dient of breaking sentences into small divisions or particles by commas, to preserve the necessary dis­tinctions, was not anciently used (nor likely to have been used) by the ancient writers of the greek tongue, who were accustomed to much more accurate distinctions in their various pecu­liar modes of grammatical expression, specified in the six preceding rules.

Whole sentences are, indeed, distinguished in the oldest greek MSS. by a single point placed at their end, sometimes towards the top of the line, sometimes in the middle, and sometimes towards the bottom; but apparently no distinction of time has been intended by any of these three different modes of placing the point, for they are all placed indiscriminately to the most obvious and full ter­mination of sentences; and therefore we may be assured that, in all these three different modes of placing them, they were originally intended only as periods to conclude the sentences; so that when we find them in the place of commas, to distinguish merely the parts or particles of a sentence, there is great reason to suspect that they have been the ad­ditions of later times.

In the Alexandrian MS. the text before us is awkwardly divided by one of these points, placed after the word [...], which point, for the reason [Page 28]before given, must necessarily be deemed a period, and which did not exist in the original text of the sacred penman.

The intention of the transcriber or interpolator by adding this point to the text (for it cannot justly be attributed to the original writer) has been probably to make a distinction of persons; as if two persons had been named in the text instead of one, in like manner as the comma is added after the word God, in the english version, without any authority.

But the necessary grammatical construction of the whole sentence taken together detects the in­terpolator, and demonstrates the absurdity of sup­posing, that any such point ever existed in the ori­ginal text, because the words, which are severed by the supposititious period, cannot form a grammati­cal sentence (according to the ordinary modes of expression used in the greek tongue) by themselves alone; so that the obvious sense of the context demonstrates their necessary connection with the preceding words in one entire sentence; and de­monstrates also, at the same time, the ignorance and fallacy of the interpolator, who attempted to make two sentences of it by inserting a full period.

If literally rendered, it ought to be—according to the grace of the God and Lord of us Jesus Christ; but, more in the idiom of our own language, it might be justly rendered, according to the grace of [Page 29]Jesus Christ our God and Lord. In either way the necessary doctrine of our Lord's divine nature, manifestly intended to be expressed in the original, is duly retained in the proposed version.

EXAMPLE, V. 1. TIM. V. 21.

[...]. &c.

This, in the common english version, is rendered —‘I charge (thee) before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things, &c.’

The word [...] is omitted in the Alexandrian MS. which, however, agrees in every other parti­cular; for no points whatever are inserted between the substantives; so that we have the testimony even of this MS. for a clear declaration that Jesus is God, as well as Lord; and after the next copu­lative, which connects the mention of different Persons according to the sixth rule, the adverb [...] (before) though not expressly repeated is plainly to be understood, as—'I charge' (thee) 'before the God and Lord' "Jesus" (or rather 'before Jesus the God and Lord, and' (before) the elect angels, that thou observe these things. Thus far the testimony of the Alexandrian MS. But, accord­ing to the commonly received text of the greek, it ought to be rendered, in the english idiom,—‘I charge (thee) before Jesus Christ the GOD and LORD, and (before) the elect angels, &c.

EXAMPLE, VI. 11. TIM. iv. 1.

[...] &c.

In the common english version this is rendered ‘I charge (thee) therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead, &c.’

In the greek of this text, as it is commonly printed, the article [...] is repeated before [...], which, so far, affords an excuse for the present english version in placing the comma after the word God, to denote two distinct persons, according to the sixth rule; but in the Alexandrian MS. and several other old copies the article [...] is not repeated after the copulative before [...], so that the expression is exactly similar to the declaration of our Lord's divine nature by the same apostle in the preced­ing example, viz. I. Tim. v. 21. In some printed editions the word [...] is also omitted, but in the Geneva edition of 1620, with Scaliger's Notes, the word [...] is inserted, and the article [...] omitted, whereby the title [...] (God) must necessarily be construed in such a manner that it may be clearly understood in all versions to be expressly applied to Christ, as it really is in the original. The tran­scriber or interpolator of the Alexandrian MS. however, being aware of this doctrine, has endea­voured to pervert it, by adding a full period after [Page 31]the word [...] as [...]. But this period is unquestionably supposititious, because the words before and after the period are not two distinct sentences, but obviously, portions only of one entire sentence, which must ne­cessarily be construed together, according to the ordinary rules of expression in the greek tongue, as I have remarked on a preceding example, whereby a second substantive of personal descrip­tion, without an article before it, joined by a copu­lative to a preceding substantive of the like na­ture, and in the same case, with an article before it, must necessarily denote a farther description of the same person, expressed by the first substantive, (whenever there is an article before the first sub­stantive and none before the second) so that the insertion of the period in the Alexandrian MS. af­ter [...] is utterly vain, because the copulative suffici­ently proves the connection of the two substantives in one clear sentence, and the omission of the article before the second substantive induces the necessity of applying the same grammatical construction whereby alone the due distinction of persons is so peculiarly maintained in the greek tongue, and not by points. The text should therefore be rendered, —‘I charge (thee) therefore, before the God and Lord Jesus Christ, &c.’ or rather (to render the doctrine more obvious in the english idiom)—‘I charge (thee) therefore, before Jesus Christ the God and Lord, who shall judge the quick and [Page 32]the dead, &c.’ And thus the texts in the two last examples will perfectly accord as the uniform ex­pressions of the same apostle, asserting, in both, the divinity of his Lord and Saviour, by whom he had been personally summoned to bear his testimony to the gentiles, as being an eye and ear witness of his glorious majesty.

Our Socinian Sadducees, who have impiously en­tituled our Lord "a mere man," and "nothing but a man," and simple human nature, will not be able to digest this necessary doctrine, until they humble themselves to receive instructions from the holy scriptures.

EXAMPLE, VII. TIT. ii. 13.


The present version of these words, in the eng­lish testament, is—‘Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.’ This text (though the next in order, according to the usual mode of arranging the books of the new testament) has al­ready been produced as the second example in the preceding letter. I have since however examined the Alexandrian MS. and find that it agrees exactly with the above citation of this text, except that a point has been added in the MS. after the word [...] [Page 33]or [...]. On which it is necessary to observe that the same remarks are obviously applicable to this super­fluous and absurd addition of the point, or period, that I have made on the texts, II. Thess. i. 12. and II. Tim. iv. 1. in the fourth and sixth examples of this tract. For as the proper effect and purposes of periods is to separate words into distinct sentences, it is obvious that the words, which follow the suppo­sititious period in this text, are incapable of a gram­matical construction without reference to the preceding words, connected by the copulative; and therefore the note of separation (a period) cannot possibly have been intended by the inspired writer. This testimony therefore of the sacred text in fa­vour of the necessary doctrine of our Lord's divine nature ought not to be withheld from the mere en­glish reader.

I am persuaded that our modern Socinians would not have made so much clamour about the necessity of a new translation, had they been aware that a more close and literal rendering of the ori­ginal text (even in passages which had escaped their calumnious charges of corruption, and their arrogant attempts at imaginary correction) must necessarily cut up their favourite system by the roots.

The text in question, if the truth of the original be duly regarded, must inevitably be rendered, Expecting the blessed hope and appearance of the [Page 34]glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.



Which in the common english version, is thus imperfectly rendered,—through the righteousness of God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ.

This text, though the eighth in order, according to the proper order of the books, was the first ex­ample cited in my letter; and I have only to re­mark farther, that the Alexandrian MS. perfectly agrees with the present common approved reading of the greek text. In Dr Woide's printed copy of the said MS. there is a point inserted after the word [...], which is not in the MS. but that is manifestly a merely accidental typographical er­ror.

The Rev. Mr Cruttwell has remarked (in his useful edition of the english bible with Bishop Wilson's notes) that the words rendered in our present version, viz.—of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ were rendered—of our God and Saviour Jesus Christ in the versions of Wiclif, Cover­dale, Mathews, Cranmer, in the Bishops (bible) (the) Geneva, (the) Rhemish, (bibles) and by Dod­dridge, Westley, Scattergood, and Purver; which is altogether a noble testimony of both ancient and modern times against the Socinian impiety. The eng­lish [Page 35]reader should undoubtedly be informed of the true meaning of these words in a proper english idiom, as,—Through the righteousness of Jesus Christ our God and Saviour:—which is agreeable to a literal rendering into latin by the late learned Dr Thomas Mangey, prebendary of Durham, viz. —"Jesu Christi Dei et servatoris nostri."



This, in the common english version, is imper­fectly rendered,—and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

I made a transcript of this text, several years ago, from the Alexandrian MS. which I copied or ra­ther drew, letter by letter, in size and shape as exactly as the eye could discern. In this transcript the word [...] is omitted, as in the MS. but I did not, at that time, perceive that there was any point or mark after the word [...], and I was there­fore, much surprized, afterwards, in comparing the said transcript, with the elegant edition of my late very worthy and respectable friend the Rev. Dr Woide (who printed a copy of the new testa­ment from the Alexandrian MS. with new types in imitation of the letters of the MS.) to find that he had inserted a point, in his new edition, after the [Page 36]word [...]. I was very consident that I could not discern any such point, when I examined the MS. and yet, as I entertained the highest respect and esteem for the veracity and accuracy of Dr Woide (of which he was, indeed, truly worthy) it was necessary to have this matter properly ex­plained; and I was rendered perfectly aware by Dr Velthusen's account of his examining an an­cient MS. that the feint lines and marks in the very old MSS. are liable to bear different appear­ances, according to the different degrees of light in which they are seen.

I therefore took the first opportunity, afterwards, of going once more to examine the MS. and on a more close inspection, I perceived, indeed, the feint mark which occasioned Dr Woide's insertion of the period, in his edition; but being afterwards assisted by the worthy librarian the Rev. Mr Har­per, in a still more attentive and accurate exami­nation of the mark with a magnifying glass, I was satisfied that it had not been intended for a period, but only for a short line of connection, because it is nearly three times as long as it is broad.

But if any person, from the authority of Dr Woide's edition, should be still inclined to suppose that it is really a point, I must request them care­fully to consider what I have before remarked on the fourth, sixth and seventh examples in this tract, respecting the addition of points in greek manu­icripts; [Page 37]and also, concerning the more accurate modes of Grammatical distinction in the greek tongue, which rendered the smalier points, or par­ticles of time (such as semicolons and commas) abso­lutely unnecessary in the greek scripture; and, in addition thereto, let him observe, particularly on the text before us, that a point in that place, after [...] (in the middle of the sentence, between the accusative noun and verb) is utterly inconsutent with grammar and common sense; and though the word [...], has been omitted in the Alexandrian MS. (perhaps for the same reason that some men would wish to prove the insertion of the point after [...]) yet, happily, neither of these altera­tions would at all affect, or injure the manifest testimony of the apostle Jude, to Christ's almighty power and divinity, for—the only potentate and Lord of us Jesus Christ, is equivalent to a full declaration of Christ's Divinity, as well as of his almighty power; and with respect to the insertion of the supposed point, they must perceive, if they duly consider the text, that the words [...] and [...] cannot (consistently with the necessary gram­matical sense of the greek, and the usual modes of expression, or idiom of that language) be separated either by points or construction, so as to be applied to two different persons, because the article is not repeated after the copulative, before [...]: so that Christ alone, was unquestionably that—"only poten­tate," [Page 38]or sovereign Lord, who was denied by the lascivious persons, against whom the apostle Jude bore testimony of their reprobacy, and of their having denied the Lord who had redeemed them. Dr Hammond's rendering of the text before us, may, therefore, be conscientiously maintained, viz. "and our only master God and Lord Jesus Christ," making (says he)—"those three the several attri­butes of Jesus Christ." But as the doctor has been pleased to add, that—This interpretation proceeds upon that way of punctuation, which is ordinarily retained in our copies, there being no comma after [...],’ I am obliged to protest against that reason, for the other reasons already given; and to insist, that the grammatical construction of the greek text is, of itself, our sufficient and best warrant to justify that literal rendering.

But the applying to Christ this supreme title, —"the only potentate God" (and, also in a former text, the supreme title of—"the great God") may perhaps induce some persons to conceive that this grammatical system of construction, if admitted as a rule, for all texts, in which the same mode of expression renders it applicable, will sometimes prove rather too much, and may be liable to fa­vour a modern sect of Unitarians, who have adopt­ed the Sabellian notions of the late Baron Swe­denborg, and who assert, that—Jesus Christ is the only God; that is, they understand this in so [Page 39]peculiar a sense, that they do not seem properly to acknowledge the personality of the holy spirit, any more than a very opposite sect of Unitartans do, the modern Socinians, who impiously assert (in the opposite extreme to that the of Swedenborgians) that Jesus Christ was a mere man, and nothing but a man, according to one of their teachers, and —"simple human nature," according to another: and some of them have even presumed to charge the members of the church of England with ido­latry, * because they pay the divine honour that is [Page 40]due to their Lord and Saviour; and to the holy spirit, their —"other comforter."

So that both these sects of prosessed Unitarians (as well as their Unitarian brethern, the Mahome­tans) [Page 41]are, by mistaken notions of the divine unity, seduced from perceiving and acknowledging the declarations throughout the holy scriptures of the unquestionable existence of three divine persons in one only divine nature, or Godhead. The old Ari­ans (though their sect was probably represented by that—"fallen star," which opened the—bottom­ess lpit, for the emission of the armed locusts of the Arabian heresy, more strictly Unitarians than themselves *) allowed, indeed, that Christ was God, [Page 42]yet they supposed him to be so, in an inferior de­gree; [Page 43]by which they unwarily acknowledged a su­perior God, and an inferior God; i. e. more Gods than one, contrary to the true Unitarian doctrine of the primitive churches, which always held and asser­ted the unity of God (like the church of England to this day) as much as they held it necessary to ac­knowledge the three divine persons; both of which doctrines are inevitable and indispensible, while we profess to regulate our faith by the testimonies of the holy scriptures, as handed down to us, with­out presuming to exercise the Socinian expedient of lopping off, or altering (as a supposed corruption or interpolation) every text of scripture that opposes the system or set of notions that we happen to have adopted: And therefore the true Unitarian christian, who acknowledges but one God,—one Jehovah,—one divine nature, ( [...]) or Godhead, and at the same time, nevertheless, is convinced, that three divine persons are really revealed to us, under the title of [Page 44] Jehovah * in the old testament; and under the title of [...]—or God, in the new testament; and that the supreme attributes of the DIVINE NATURE are ap­plied to each, in both testaments, will, of course, be aware also, that each of these divine persons must necessarily be—"the great God," and —the only potentate as there is but—"one God"one only supreme power, or Godhead.

So that the effect of my grammatical rule, when applied to the two particular texts before men­tioned (viz. Tit. ii. 13. and Jude iv.) will not (in the opinion of such true christians) seem to exceed the truth.

Though the apostle Paul asserted to the Colos­sians (ii. 9.) concerning Christ, that—in him dwel­leth ALL the fulness of the Godhead ( [...]) "bodily"—( [...],—a term of indisputable per­sonality) yet, surely, this was without the least dis­paragement to the supreme divinity of the almighty father, and of the holy spirit, because they are; also, necessarily included in the same [...], or Godhead, as there is but one God; and, therefore, as—it pleased all fuiness to dwell in the person of our [Page 45] Lord Jesus, (Col. i. 19) we may more easily compre­hend, why he required—"that all" (men) should honour the son, EVEN AS they honour the father, that is, undoubtedly, with supreme honour, [...], EVEN AS, or, according as,"they honour the father." And our Lord said expressly,—He that honoureth not the son (that is, according to the measure before declared,—"EVEN AS they honour" or ought to ho­nour, the father) honoureth not the father which hath sent him, (John v. 23.) and he also claimed expressly to be glorified with the father himself."And now O father" (said he) ‘GLORIFY THOU ME WITH THINE OWNGELF, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was, (John xvii. 5.) thereby asserting both his pre-existence and su­preme dignity. Christians therefore, who humbly receive these, and the many other revelations of Christ's divinity, have the less difficulty in acknow­ledging the doctrines of the ancient catholic churches, and the declarations of our creeds. But let all other men likewise, who profess to believe in the name of Christ, earnestly enquire, in the first place, as the first means of progress to the true faith, whe­ther they are really "willing" (for this is given is the true proof of faith [...]) to conform themselves to the will of God, as revealed in all the most obvious declarations and injunctions of holy scripture, and more particularly to the purity, [Page 46]which is expressly called—"the will of God" viz. the sanctification of their bodies * which cannot other­wise be capable of becoming—Temples of the holy Ghost; an indispensible state both of body and mind for all christians to maintain; for, in that case, they may assuredly rely on God's absolute promise, through Christ, that—if any one shall be WILLING to do HIS WILL he shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God; or whether I speak (said our Lord) "from myself." (John vii. 17.)




A. Christ was "manifested in the flesh, (that is, was made man,)—TO DIE FOR THE SINS OF MAN­KIND,—to destroy the works of the devil—to re­deem us from all iniquity, and to purity unto him­self a peculiar people zealous of good works." (1 Cor. xv. 3.—1 John iii. 8.—Tit ii. 14.)

Q. Where was Christ before he came into this world, and was manifested in the flesh?

A. He was in Heaven. "He came down from Heaven. He was with God his Father, before the world was, before the foundation of the world: he was in the bosom of his Father, and in his Father's Glory." (John iii. 13. vi. 33. 62. i. 1. xvii. 5. 24.

[Page 48] Q. How was his manifestation in the flesh made known to the world?

A. By the message of an angel to Mary his mo­ther, to Joseph, and to certain shepherds.

Q. Under what name was be made known?

A. He was called JESUS, a Saviour, the Son of God, the Son of the Highest.

Q. Who was the mother of Jesus?

A. The Virgin Mary.

Q. Was any prophesy fulfilled by the birth of Jesus Christ?

A. Yes: "all this was done, that it might be fulfilled, which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a Son, and they shall call his name EMMANUEL, which being interpre­ted, is GOD WITH US." (Matt. i. 22, 23. Isaiah vii. 14.)

Q. What was Christ put to death for?

A. For blasphemy, as the Jews thought it, in calling himself the Son of God.

Q. In what did the Jews say the blasphemy con­sisted?

A. In this, that he being, as they supposed, a mere man, called God his own Father, thereby declaring himself to be equal with God, and to be God. (John v. 18. x. 33.)

Q. What did Christ ever say of himself, which im­plied, that he was God?

[Page 49]A. He said that he was one with God, and par­took of the glory of God, before the world was, that is, from all eternity.

Catechist. Repeat the passage, in which this is said.

A. "And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine ownself, with the glory which I had with thee, before the world was." (John xvii. 5.)

Q. What did Christ ever say of himself, which im­plied, that he was equal with God?

A. He said that "he and his Father are one:" that "the Father hath given all things into his power:" that "what things soever the Father doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise:" that "the Father hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father." (John x. 30.—iii. 35.— v. 19.—v. 22.)

Q. Who were the first witnesses, in Christ's time, in proof of Christ's divinity?

A. His enemies, the unbelieving Jews, both the people, and their rulers.

Q. Do you call the unbelieving Jews prior witnes­ses to the Apostles?

A. Yes: because this great truth, THE DIVINTY OF CHRIST, was hid from the Apostles, as well as the rest of their countrymen, till after Christ's RE­SURRECTION FROM THE DEAD. Christ first asserted himself to be God, by calling God his Father, and himself the Son of God, in a sense, which implied, [Page 50]that he was equal with God, and was God; for so even his unbelieving hearers understood it:—the Jews condemned him to death for it:—the Apos­tles preached it.

Q. As Christ knew, that this was the sense in which the Jews understood his testimony of himself, when they first charged him with blasphemy for it, did he, at his trial, attempt to deny the charge?

A. No: he admitted the charge and confirmed it, and died for it; and appealed to the day of judgment, as their future proof of it.

Catechist. Repeat the passage.

A. When "the high priest asked him, and said unto him, art thou the Christ, the Son of the Bles­sed? Jesus said, I am: and (as a proof of it,) YE shall (at the last day) see (me) the Son of man fit­ting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of Heaven." (Mark xiv. 61, 62.)

Q. If Christ had not been the Messiah, the Son of God, in the sense in which they understood him, would he not have undeceived them?

A. If Jesus Christ had not been the Messiah, the Son of God, in the sense, in which the Jews un­derstood him, he would have undeceived them, to save his own life, and to free them from a very great delusion.

Q. But Jesus Christ was put to death for calling himself the Son of God; what then do you conclude?

A. I conclude that Jesus Christ really was what [Page 51]they charged him with calling himself, THE SON OF GOD; and in the sense in which they understood him; that is, that he was EQUAL WITH GOD; and was God.

Q. You say that in the lifetime of Christ the Apos­tles appeared not to know that Christ was God; what was their opinion after he rose from the dead?

A. Convinced by his resurrection from the dead, according to his promise that he would raise himself from the dead, they believed him to be "their Lord and ther God"—"the word made flesh;" "God manifested in the flesh;" in whom ‘dwelt ALL the fulness of the Godhead bodily;’ Em­manuel," or, "God with us"—"the creator and upholder of all things," who "in the beginning" of all things "was with God, and was God"— "the true God and eternal life;" and "over all God blessed for ever." (John xx. 28.—John i. 14. 1 Tim. iii. 16. Coi. ii. 9. Matt. i. 23.—John i. 2. Heb. i. 3. John i. 1.—1 John v. 20. Rom. ix. 5. *)

Q. Now tell me in few words, what you collect from Christ's testimony of himself, as attested by the Jews of [Page 52]his own time, condemned by the rulers, but universally propagated by the Apostles?

A. The conclusion to be drawn from it, is, that Christ, the Son of God, is one with God, and equal with God, and is God. Christ asserted it; the Jews condemned him to die for it; he sealed his testimony with his blood. The Apostles, convin­ced by his resurrection from the dead, believed it, and preached it, and died for it.

Catechist. The Jews, then, put Christ to death, as an impostor and blasphemer; and yet Christians have believed in him and worshipped him, as the Son of God, for almost eighteen hundred years. How do you ac­count for this?

A. It was in the decrees of God, that Christ should die for the sins of mankind: If the Jews had believed him to be the Son of God, they would not have put him to death:—if he had not been put to death, as he was, he would not have "borne our sins in his own body on the cross," that is, he would not have died for our sins, THE END, for which he CAME INTO THE WORLD;—he would not have given that great and inestimable proof of the truth of Scripture, and of his own promises, which HE did, by rising from the dead; —and the Apostles would not have given that sure evidence of their own belief in Christ, the ground and confirmation of OURS, which THEY did, by dy­ing for their crucified Lord and Master.


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