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this delightful and soul cheering truth? Let us hear. "Many professors of religion say that Christ bore the wrath of God that was due to sinners, fulfilled the law of God and suffered its penalty in their stead, and so reconciled him to mankind. But this doctrine is not in the Bible. There is no text in that book which says, he made satisfaction to justice for sinners, or that he bore the wrath of God that was due to sinners; or, that he fulfilled the law, or suffered its penalty instead of sinners,” p. 191. "You see it is impossible that Christ could have suffered the penalty of the law instead of sinners," p. 198. "There is not one text in the Bible that says Christ fulfilled the law for us," p. 202. And in attempting to prove that mankind should not ask blessings and mercies for Christ's sake, he says: "There is no account in the Scripture of any of the prophets or apostles asking any blessings for Christ's sake," p. 217. On p. 214, he advances the position that man obtains" salvation by innocence and good works." A thousand such extracts might be made from the writings of this sect, but the above will suffice. See also Clough's Discourses, passim.
I am aware that Mr. Campbell and his followers will attempt to repel the charge of Unitarianism by producing passages from their writings in which Christ is spoken of as divine, as God, etc. They equivocate exceedingly on these words. But evidence derived from such general statements proves nothing; for the most avowed Unitarians do not hesitate to speak of Christ in precisely the same manner. Take the following instances. Thompson, in his Gospel History, p. 14, says: "John used the word God, when characteristic of the Logos in a subordinate and relative sense." Dobson, in his Thoughts on Faith, p. 70 (though an avowed Unitarian), thus speaks: "All the Gods are commanded to worship him, to whom the title God belongs in a degree immeasurably higher than any or all of them." But not to multiply instances, we shall conclude with Kinkade; the author of Bible Doctrine. Though he denies so expressly the doctrine of the Trinity, the personality of the Spirit, the self-existence and atonement of Christ, and the immensity of God, yet hear him: "God is the highest title given to Christ in the Scriptures," p. 99, and 101 also. On p. 116, he says: Acts 20: 28 only proves that Christ is called God, and that the church belongs to him, neither of which is denied by any christian preacher." Again: "I conscientiously call him my Lord and my God, and yet I firmly believe that
he is a created being," p. 118. "As I have already proved that the title God is frequently given to creatures, it is evident that he could be the mighty God, and yet a subordinate being, p. 119. "It is very possible for him to be equal with God in some things, and at the same time inferior to him in some other things," p. 107.
These passages may serve to put the unwary on their guard, and prevent their being entrapped by the equivocal phraseology of a disguised Unitarian. We have collected a long catalogue of positive and direct proofs of the Unitarianism of the Campbellites, but as our Essay has already exceeded its prescribed limits, and as we must devote a few pages to a review of their translation of the New Testament, we omit them.
IV. The translation of the New Testament adopted by the Campbellites.
It was not without reason that our great English moralist observed: "I do not know any crime so great, that a man could contrive to commit, as poisoning the sources of eternal truth."* It is a crime, the extent of whose turpitude, can only be imagined, amid the realities of eternity; and no instrument, employed by Satan for the destruction of souls, is so ruinous in its effects.
Ten years ago Mr. Alexander Campbell issued a version of the New Testament with the following imposing title: "The Sacred writings of the apostles and evangelists of Jesus Christ, commonly styled the New Testament; translated from the original Greek, by George Campbell, James Macknight, and Philip Doddridge, Doctors of the church of Scotland." It has passed through several editions since that time. The one referred to in the following review, is "stereotyped from the third Edition revised. Bethany, Brooke Co. Va. Printed and published by A. Campbell. 1833." Copy right secured.
We shall not attempt to influence the minds of our readers by declaring the sentiments which this production has led us to entertain of the character of its author; but shall merely give a brief statement of facts in relation to it, that every one who feels an interest in the subject may judge for himself.
It was not until Mr. Campbell had published several large
See Boswell's History of Johnson's Tour to the Hebrides, p. 70.
editions of this book that he would consent to correct the false statement in its title page, declaring Dr. Doddridge to be a member of the church of Scotland. That this fact had an important bearing both upon the matter of the translation, and the success of his undertaking, will appear, when it is remembered that after Mr. Campbell had proclaimed Dr. Doddridge to be a Presbyterian, he cites him as an important and weighty authority (and one, of course, whose candor had got the better of his presbyterian principles,) to sustain the rendering which his book gives of ¿xxinolu, viz. congregation, instead of that given in the common translation. And will the reader credit what is a sober fact; that Mr. Campbell, even after he declares in the book itself, that he had "learned that Dr. Doddridge was not a Presbyterian but a Congregationalist," should issue the book. with the same title? In what estimation can the christian public hold a man, who will, for the sake of promoting the sale of a book, be guilty of such dissimulation? The effects of it are still felt. I will specify but a single instance. Very lately, in our own immediate vicinity, a clergyman wishing to establish a position which is denied by Presbyterians, appealed to this book of Mr. Campbell's, and gave the authority of "three doctors of the church of Scotland," in favor of it, which was of course, regarded by many as conclusive.* But we shall proceed to examine the work itself.
In order to give a fair and impartial view of the matter, it will be proper first to present the author's own opinion of the book. The following passage is from his Preface." If the mere publication of a version of the inspired writings requires, as we believe it does, the publisher to have no sectarian object in view, we are happy in being able to appeal to our whole course of public addresses, and to all that we have written on religious subjects, to show that we have no such object in view."
The reader has been informed by the title of this book, that Mr. Campbell pledges his veracity and honesty, that it was "translated from the original Greek, by Drs. Campbell, Macknight, and Doddridge." Let him now compare this with the following, from p. 396, of the second edition. "We give no Baptist authorities.-But we rest the whole authority of this translation on the criticisms of Romanists, Episcopalians, and
* In a later edition, but not until Mr. Campbell had realized the profits of a very large sale of his book, he has corrected the title page in respect to this point.
Presbyterians;" and he will surely wonder what concern "Romanists and Episcopalians" have in a "translation" made, agreeably to Mr. Campbell's often repeated assertion, by two Presbyterians and a Congregationalist. But hear him again. On p. 448, he says: "From a great many sources and from religious teachers of different denominations, inquiries, suggestions, and criticisms have been received, all directly, or indirectly bearing upon the improvement of the new version. From these, and from our own diligent comparison and examination of all the documents furnished, and within our reach, we have been induced to modernize the style of this version very considerably; Yet still retaining its original title page! The reader shall have some specimens of this "modernizing " presently. The single fact is this; the Version is Mr. Campbell's alone, (as will fully appear,) and the dishonest artifice of ascribing it to Campbell, Macknight and Doddridge, a crime in no way differing from actual forgery, was resorted to for the purpose of speculating upon the credulity of the public. Hear him again in self-commendation.
"Taking every thing into view, we have no hesitation in saying, that, in the present improved state of the English language, the ideas communicated by the Apostles and Evangelists of Jesus Christ, are incomparably better expressed in this, than in any volume ever presented in our mother tongue." "The whole scope, design, and drift of our labors is to see Christians intelligent, united and happy.". "We would only say, that the edification and comfort of a Christian may be greatly promoted by a minute examination of this version, and a diligent comparison of it with the common one." But enough.
As our examination must seriously affect the moral character of this gentleman, we invite attention to another point before we take up the subject directly. It is, that whatever errors, falsehoods, etc., are found in the book, they cannot be attributed to inadvertency, as the following brief extracts will show. In his Prospectus, after saying that he would translate such words as the three Doctors had adopted, he remarks: "But in doing this, we shall not depart in any instance from the meaning which they have declared those words to convey." And afterwards, referring to this promise, in his controversy with a "Friend of Truth," he ventures thus to remark: "Now it can be proven in any court of law or equity where the English language is spoken, that I have not in one instance departed from this
promise." If the reader can compare these solemn asseverations with the passages above quoted and not be shocked by the insincerity which they exhibit, he has more charity than I can pretend to possess. Yet this is scarcely the beginning of what we find to disapprove in regard to this translation.
The following are additional professions of Mr. Campbell in regard to the faithfulness of his labors. "It may so happen that, now and then, once or twice in a hundred years, an individual or two may arise, whose literary acquirements, whose genius, independence of mind, honesty, and candor, may fit them to be faithful and competent translators." See Preface, p. 8. Now as Mr. Campbell is the translator of this book, and as, on his own showing, these must be the qualifications of translators, he must of course possess them all, and cannot plead exemption from censure as to the merits of his performance, on the score of ignorance.
The reader will bear in mind while he reads the following, that the preface still claims the three doctors as authors of the translation. We quote from the stereotype edition. "The present edition-shows that in the judgment of some at least, the style of the whole volume, even of the historical books, was susceptible of some improvement."-" Macknight presented more work for the pen of a reviser than Campbell; and Doddridge, more than either." Preface, p. 70.
After professions like the following, what should we not be led to look for on the score of correctness? "Few readers," says he, "can appreciate the labor and care necessary to the perfecting of an impression of the New Testament.-Aware of all the difficulties in our way, and most solicitous to have the stereotype pocket edition [the one from which we now quote, and to which we shall confine our attention through the remainder of this investigation] of this work as perfect, in its typography, as any in existence, we have been at the labor and expense of preparing two editions at one and the same time; so that any errata discovered after the sheets of the third edition were worked off, might be corrected in the standing form of the pocket edition. Few, very few errors have been discovered in the third edition; these are corrected in its errata ; and, of course, do not appear in this." "The sheets of the third edition, after having been repeatedly read by myself and others, were submitted to the examination of Thomas Campbell, sen., and of Francis W. Emmons.-Their classical and