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particular reference, and give some quotations, which shall embody the reviewer's exposure of the weakness of an argument brought forward by Mr. Porter with the most triumphant air, as if it were altogether irrefragable. In that gentleman's comments on John i. 1-"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"-he, in order to neutralize the evidence for the Deity of Christ arising from this passage, asserted, that, as the word God in its first occurrence there, had, in the original, the article prefixed, "it can denote no other than the Supreme Being; but that the word may be construed in a wider sense in its second occurrence, as the article is there absent. In this way Mr. Porter discards the text, as containing any evidence in favour of Orthodox views; for it seems, when the evangelist tells us, that the " Word was God," he means a subordinate God; and that this is indicated by his omitting the article. Now we have long been wont to think with Dr. Chalmers, that this phrase "teaches the Deity of Christ as plainly as vocables can teach it;" but how are we to withstand all this artillery of criticism? Here is a dignus vindice nodus which Mr. Porter defies the world to unloose! It is really strange with what presumptuous rashness some men will dogmatize on subjects of which they know nothing. No one ever committed blunders more glaring than Mr. Porter has done in almost all he has said about the Greek article. We find him labouring usque ad nauseam to prove that it is sometimes found in the predicate of a proposition-as if this were a thing which any body denies; and in the foregoing criticism, he asserts that the presence of the article is necessary to give to the term God in Greek its proper sense-a position which has been shown to be utterly untenable. His acute reviewer has made a sad exposure of his ignorance on the whole of this subject; and the lesson he has administered to him will, it may be hoped, teach him more caution, should he ever again appear as a controversialist. Mr. Carson shows, that "in no view of the article, either in Greek or English, can it affect the meaning of the word with which it is joined"-that "the word God with the article is capable of being applied equally to Jupiter and to Jehovalı"—and that "without the article it can with as much propriety be applied to the true God as to false gods." "To give a different sense," says he, "to the term God in its two occurrences, is not criticism, but the extravagance of licentiousness. Why did not Mr. Porter produce examples of similar phraseology to justify his interpre

tation? Criticism is of no authority, except it rest on exam ples or self-evident principles."


So much for Mr. Porter's observations on the nature and use of the Greek article. The loftiest flourish, however, of the Unitarian champion respecting the text in question is yet to come, and he is prudent enough to reserve it for his last speech, to which he knew Mr. Bagot would have no opportunity of replying. He enters into a lengthened argumentation to prove that the word "God," in its second occurrence in John i 1, must be taken in a subordinate sense, else we shall involve ourselves in all manner of nonsense and contradiction. And then he employs the reductio ad absurdum, with all the form and precision of mathematical demonstration, to shame us out of our senseless creed. Why, it seems according to the Orthodox interpretation of the text, the evangelist is made to declare, "that the Word is the same God with whom he is"-that "God the Son is God the Father" that "the Second Person of the Trinity is the whole Trinity." And then Mr. Porter sings io triumphe, and “defies Mr. Bagot, and defies any rational being to put any sistent or intelligible interpretation upon this passage, unless the distinction in the signification of the word God, for which he contends, is admitted." Well, this is a sad predicament in which Mr. Porter has placed us. Surely there is no reasonable man, Orthodox though he may be, who would not give up any interpretation of Scripture which would involve consequences so monstrous. What, then, does the reviewer say on this point. Does he admit this frightful result to be consequent on the Orthodox interpretation, and feel himself fixed within the bounds of an irrecoverable dilemma? Honest and candid as he is, does he "concede," as Mr. Porter insists he must, the whole question to the Unitarians, so far as John i. 1 is concerned? No such thing. On the contrary, he calls Mr. Porter to account for the ignorance which his criticism betrays of the philosophy of language, and makes his silly vapouring to appear utterly ridiculous. Having given Mr. Porter's argument verbatim et literatim, though it occupies a page and a half of the pamphlet, he thus com. ments on it:

"There it is, in all its strength. Now how easily will I dash through this web of gossamer! This is refinement without discrimination: it is demonstration without science. It confounds the meaning of a word with the personal reference of that word; and it supposes that, where it has the same meaning, it must apply to the same person. Now in opposition

to this, I maintain that a word may in two places have the same sense, without referring to the same person; and that two words may apply to the same person without having the same sense."

The author then goes on to prove this; and having thus exposed the main fallacy of Mr. Porter, concludes the paragraph as follows:

"Is it not awful that men will stake their salvation on silly sophisms? Unitarians are for ever dabbling in metaphysics; yet if ever they have displayed any specimens of real metaphysical acuteness on this question, I have not been so fortunate as to light on them."

Being obliged to conclude, we must omit the notice we had intended of the reviewer's remarks on some of the other passages, and just refer to the pamphlet itself any of our readers who may not yet have perused it. They will then be able to see the arbitrary and unphilosophic nature of the criticism employed by Unitarians, and how utterly weak and puerile is their most plausible ratiocination when analyzed by such a Goliath in controversy as the reviewer. Mr. Carson is just the man who has every accomplishment for exposing blundering criticism and inconclusive reasoning. His knowledge of philology and metaphysics, as well as of what is of scarcely less importance-the laws of controversy seems to be equally profound. No man in Britain, we venture to say, has made higher attainments in the philosophy of language, or in what the Germans call the science of Hermeneutics, as distinguished from Exegesis. These attainments have been a powerful instrument in his hands for establishing truth and uprooting erHow much has he already accomplished in the way of detecting and exposing false first principles, which have been the means of propagating so much error in the world; and of propounding canons of criticism which contain their own evidence, and must therefore be universally recognised, as are the axioms of mathematics. "Criticism," says he, "is but in its infancy, though learning be an antediluvian patriarch;" and, therefore, is he labouring to advance the former to the rank of a science, in order that the cause of scriptural truth. may be advanced, and we may be able to feel as confident of the correctness of our interpretation of language, as we are of the conclusions of reason from necessary truth.


If Mr. Porter has read the "Review," and be not yet prepared-palinodiam canere-to read his recantation, let him consider, as the author conjures him to do, whether his rejection of the doctrine of Christ's Deity is not to be attributed to his disaffection to the thing itself, and not to there being any want of

evidence that Scripture, interpreted by the most authentic laws of language, clearly teaches it. After the irresistible arguments with which the reviewer has plied him, we cannot conceive how he can any longer refrain from admitting the doctrine which he has been labouring to overthrow,except, indeed, be be determined to take his stand on the principle adopted by some of his Unitarian brethren in England, and deny that he is bound to admit the conclusiveness of an argument or the truth of a doctrine, merely because an evangelist or an apostle has advanced it.

The POSITION of the CHURCH of IRELAND, and the DUTY of PRESBYTERIANS in reference to it, at the PRESENT CRISIS. By a Member of the Synod of Ulster. W. M'COMB, Belfast. P.p. 80. 1835.

THIS pamphlet is characterized by firmness, charity, ability, and richness of both thought and diction. The author is a Presbyterian, and compromises none of his principles, yet does he every where breathe the spirit of brotherly love toward the sister church; and even while he censures in her what he thinks to be wrong, he does so in a way that must approve itself to the friends of the Establishment. We regard him as the friend of religion and of the Church of Ireland. He finds fault with some of her arrangements and functionaries, but his are the smitings of a friend. Were the pamphlet written in another style, we confess we are not of those who would recommend its circulation. We have no sympathy with the mob-cry, down with the Church.' We know the spirit of many who raise it, and it is not the Establishment they hate so much as the religion of the Establishment. As long as her ministers were worldly men, they were allowed to hold their places in peace; but now that they have been animated with the spirit of their office, and are, to a great extent, holy and devoted men, the spirit of the world is incensed against them, and would thwart their faithful labourings. Still, while we have no sympathy with such enemies of the Established Church, we cannot belie our principles so far, as not to desire to see her abuses corrected. We wish to see the people elevated to the place they should hold in the government of the Church-we desire to see all its ministers the freemen of the Lord-and we would contend for the liberal support of the working clergy, who are

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left, to a great extent, destitute, by the neglect of the dignitary on the one hand, and that of the people on the other. These things, in common with the best men in the Establishment, we wish to see improved, and we trust a gracious Providence will over-rule the excitement of the times to that end. Such a pamphlet as that before us, is well calculated to promote this consummation. There is in it the promise of a distinguished authorship. And should its youthful, but not inexperienced writer be spared some years among us, the Synod of Ulster will not, we trust, be long without another distinguished author besides its learned and indefatigable historian and clerk. We have space only for one extract, showing the spirit of the writer toward the Church of Ireland.

"It were an injustice to the Establishment not to acknowledge, and that most thankfully, that among the inferior grades of her hierarchy she has of late experienced a mighty renovation. Within a shorter period than a quarter of a century ago, the idea generally associated with almost all her ministers, even to the humblest order, was that of indolence, disdainful arrogance, and indifference to the prosperity of the Church of God. In their discourses from the pulpit nothing was studied on the one hand or expected on the other, but the utmost tameness, and an avoidance of every topic calculated to strike terror or alarm. The solid and substantial theology of the Bible was supplanted by cold and lucid dissertations on its evidences, or barren disquisitions on morality, and for the Calvinism of the articles there was substituted the low and loose Arminianism of Laud. Frigid and unimpassioned in the pulpit, it was not to be expected that the clergy could be fervent and assiduous in their parochial ministrations, and as a necessary conse quence wherever their influence extended, religion both in principle and practice speedily declined. Latterly. however, owing to what causes it is unnecessary to inquire, a better spirit has descended on the Church, and many of her ministers have been imbued most thoroughly with the devotedness of other days. Through the Divine blessing on their instrumen. tality, she has, in part, been stirred from her guilty slumber, and the call to duty has been sounded in almost all her borders. By many of her clergy the Gospel is now preached in all its grand peculiarities, in simpli city and power. Of both pastors and people a goodly number are rejoic ing in the truth, and living under its gentle and hallowed influence; while of the former many in their parochial rounds of duty are noble instances of self-denial and unshaken perseverance in their Master's service. In no other religious community, it is believed, are there more faithful and right-hearted men, and the revival of vital godliness, of which they are at once the evidences and the instruments, has been hailed by all who take an interest in the fortunes of the universal church with thanksgivings and admiration."

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