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to imply the creating , Rfe-giving aiid enlightening energy of the Deity , inherent in him , though , in operation ,, proceeding from him . Of the word in this sense we read abundantly in the early fathers , in the Jewish Targums , and even in the Old Testament . It is true , in the two former we find something added to this primary and original notion of the word , and a distinctly personal being under that name
introduced , but this was a later and secondary application of the term , and did not at all supersede or interfere with the other . This interpretation appears to me to give the whole
passage a sublime and beautiful significancy , exalting in the highest degree Our Lord ' s spiritual dignity , while it in no way obscures the true unity of God or proper humanity of Christ . This
, moreover , is the interpretation JLrns , moreover , is the interpretation that has been followed by the most distinguished Unitarians , Photinus , Sabellius , Lardner , Lindsey , Priestley . I cannot but express my wonder that
it has been abandoned by the Editors of the Improved Version , in favour of that proposed by Socinus , which accepts the term , The Word , as a name of the man Jesus ; in my judgment one of the most unfortunate to which
exegesis ever had recourse . Of the clauses , " the word wa& a god ; " by him the world was enlightened , " and € < the word was flesh ; " the first seems to me shocking to the English reader ,
the two letter altogether inadmissible to th 6 reader * of the original : while the whole passage , thus Understood , has no savour of the age in which it was written . I will only add a passage from Dr . Waterland , which will serve to shew the relative estimation
in which our opponents hold these two explanations . " The next , " says he , " that offers itself is the Socinian , properly so called ; never espoused by heretic or Catholic ; never so much as
thought of , at least not heard of , before the days of Socinus . He supposes St . John to have intended a real person by the fFord , viz . the man Christ Jesus . A construction so
manifestly forced and foreign as this is , carries its own confutation with it . But to do the later Socihians justice , they have , I tfeink , for the most part , j £ iv £ n up this violent interpretation ; and iristead of it have rather closed in
with the Sabellian construction , which is more ingenious and plausible , and serves theiv hypothesis as well / 9 EU ELPIS .
$ 5 S ? On Lay-Preaching .
Manchester ; Sir , October 4 , 1821 . WAS very much amused with a I letter in your Number for August last , ( p . 446 , ) entitled " Remonstrance against Lay-Preaching /* Before I saw
this I was very much afraid we should have had no remonstrances against lay - preaching for years to come . Glad am I to acknowledge myself mistaken . But ought this to be called a remon strance ? Should it not rather be
styled an invective ? Your correspondent does indeed set out withr great humility , but before he concludes he quite forgets himself , and thunders away about bold declaimers , wild enthusiasts and the silly rhapsodies of self-created ministers . Where are the
self-created ministers ? Are there any so foolish as to preach without having hearers ? Is a bishop necessary at the creation of a minister ? I always
thought ( but then I ain a heretic ) that the hearers ordain the preacher , that as long as they continue to hear , the minister has an undoubted right to continue to preach .
Your Correspondent seems quite chagrined and astonished that * ' an enlightened and respectable minister sanctions the performance of the religious duties iri a man whose situation in life is little better than a common
servant . " This sort of language is the exact counterpart of some which was uttered against Jesus Christ . Your Correspondent will recollect that the privileged orders in our Saviour ' s day , were sometimes at a loss for an
argument to play against him . And how did they supply this deficiency ? By urging the meanness of his extraction , his trade , &c . " Is not this Joseph ' s son ? Is not this the Carpenter ' s son ? Is not this the Carpenter V * It is notorious , that a regularly
educated minister can collect a congregation of rich people ; but I would ask , ^ whether , in the generality of our congregations , the rich and the poor meet together as if the Lord waa the maker of them all ? The fine flowing diction of many of our collegians , though it may suit the genteel , the
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1821, page 652, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2506/page/20/