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which is the Word of the Father, and the substance of the Father, and yet can be changed into flesh, and die, and become dormant, we think it awakens the awful idea, if it argues any thing, that the whole God-head might experience the same change. This must lead us to the doctrine of materialism, and consequently to Atheism, or that God is matter, and like it changeable, and that all things came by chance, or that changing matter is eternal.
The other alternative, we acknowledge is one of the great mysteries of Godliness. If the divine nature of Jesus Christ, cannot be changed into the human, nor the human into the divine nature, the grand difficulty or question will arise in the mind, how Christ can be but one complete person ; this is mysterious, yet not so much so, but what we can, in some good degree, comprehend it. Should we contemplate for a moment on our own existence, it would be the best key we can find in all the work of creation, to unlock this mystery to the mind. We find man to be a standing miracle of God's wisdom in creation, above every thing the eye beholds, or the ear hears, or ever entered into the heart of man to conceive. In man we find matter and mind joined together in one person; two component parts as distinct in their natures, as any two things in all creation; when we contemplate one of these parts of man, viz. the immortal spirit, called the soul, we find in it something, that at least bears some faint similitude or resemblance of the great Creator. Although located in the body, yet it is immaterial, and possesses substantial powers, faculties and substance. It sends a thought to the throne of God, admires bis perfections, bows with reverence, worships
with admiration, and is astonished at his glory and wisdom, and power. In a moment it surveys the vast works of creation, providence and redemption, it ascends above the stars, it measures the sun, it glances from pole to pole--it dives to the centre of the earth, it compassses the bounds of the sea, it reasons on the elements, and in its researches beholds the Providences of God, past, : present, and to come, and admires his handy works. It glances a thought on the wonders of redemption, and with equal surprise, is astonish ed at the love, goodness, and condescension of an infinite wise God, in the gift of his only begotten Son, for the Redemption of rebel man.
And now, if we contemplate the other part of man, we find it is material substance, composed of the elements, although exceeding opposite in their nature, yet most wisely, and harmoniously tempered together; the bones, the joints, the nerves, the fibres, the brain, the bowels, the vitals, the arteries, the veins, the juices, the keen sensations, and faculties, and inconceivably and mysteriously joined to an immortal spirit, by that wisdom which is nothing short of infinite; and yet the greatest of all the mysteries it makes but one person, which we call a man.
We must all acknowledge, had God created no being in the world, but spirit, we might be at an entire loss to know how it would be possible for two natures, so distinct, as the two component parts of man are, to be joined together, so as to make but one person. And we can see nothing more mysterious in uniting of the two distinct natures of Jesus Christ, so as to make but one person, than what passes before us every day. We may trace this point a little further; a human bo
dy thus formed and united by a living soul, is not under all the laws, rules and regulations of the other elements, but becomes a body by itself; not independent from all the other elements, but being united to, and actuated by the indwelling of the soul which gives it life, sensation, and action ; and it may in some sense be said to be far superior to all other bodies formed of the same elements, and is a proper temple for a living soul. And many of these rules will hold good, when we look into what we as Trinitarians call the incarnation of the Son of God. We believe he took on him the whole nature of man, soul and body, sin excepted, and although the human nature was not lost, nor changed, into the divine, yet through the indwelling and union of the eternal Word, or Son in the human, the human may be said to be completely actuated by the divine, as the bodies of our first parents were, in the time of their innocency, by the indwelling of the soul, and conscience.
We have, and again state, that Mr. Millard has furnished us with all the elementary principles, to explain all the difficulty he imagines occurs in the article he refers to, respecting Christ's possessing two whole natures. He acknowledges that Christ is not created, but is of the substance of God the Father. That he partook of the seed of Abraham. And if we mistake not these two points are sufficient to warrant us, in every expression we have made use of in that article, as to the nature or natures of Jesus Christ.
These are substantially our reasons. We suppose that which is spiritual and incorporeal, is in a true sense indivisble, or in other terms it cannot be communicated in part, but the whole nature must be communicated, or none, therefore we conclude that Jesus Christ possessed two whole natures. Should Mr. Millard ask, how it is pos. sible for the whole nature to be communicated in generation, and at the same time, the whole nature to be retained in the progenitor ? We answer, we cannot tell. Should Mr. Millard exclaim this is one of the Trinitarian mysteries, which no person has been able to explain, and therefore we are not bound to believe it, and therefore it is dangerous and absurd : We say, should this be the case, we will for accommodation quit this mode of reasoning, and all the experimental knowledge we have gained on this point, and follow Mr. Millard and Doctor Priest ly, in their mode of reasoning on the doctrine of materialism. That matter can be divided, and subdivided into atoms we are not disposed to con- trovert, or doubt--and for a moment suppose we admit that man is nothing but organized matter, and stimulated with spirit, like wine, as the mate: rialists state it; and begin our examination with Adam and Eve.
We are informed by Moses, that “the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof. And the rib which the Lord God had taken from man, made. he a woman, and brought her unto the man. And Adam said, This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh,” &c.
Agreeable to the rule of these philosophers, and on the predicate that matter is infinitely divisible, there must be a constant declension, or diminution of human nature in every multiplication of numbers, as to quantity in each respectively; urr
less we adopt the absurdity that parts are equal to the whole. By the quotation just made, it will, therefore appear, that of a portion taken of Adam, Eve was made; that is, to Adam was reserved the half of human nature, and Eve possessed the other half; and they two begat a son, to whom they communicated half their respective natures, and retain their respective other halves; and thus pursuing the subject in regular gradation or reduction, on the supposition that every succeeding generation, has less and less share of human nature; it would present a curious arithmetical calculation, to ascertain, how, in this relation, and degree of human nature, we stand in comparison with our first progenitors, Adam and Eve. The comparison, if any similitude of the nature of Adam and Eve, or of human nature remain, must be as a mote to a mountain, as a drop to an ocean. But all this is too glaringly simple and absurd.
By spirit, or a rational soul, there is no space filled, and no divisibility is necessary; matter occupies space, and must have room, and of coursey as material forms multiply and move, it must be divided and subdivided. Because it is not supposable, that the actual quantity of matter has been either diminished or enlarged. It may have been struck off into atoms, and modified by particles, and grys. But dismissing this vain speculation, and notion altogether; we must conclude it is too preposterous and vain to suppose, that this subaltern, or bodily part of man, which is matter, is the anthor of the mind and soul; or that the divinity who tabernacled in, or took upon him flesh, became material flesh in the womb of the virgin; and became inert, dead, and renewed, &c.