Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

CHAPTER III.

Or the sects in relation to this point of doctrine3---propositioni

of trinitarian doctrines-Evidences of sonship found in the old testament cited-and a general reference to the abund. ant testimony on this point in the new testament.

THE different sects of christians at the present day are generally denominated, or called, by the names of Trinitarians, Arians and Socinians, and sometimes only divided into two classes, namely, Trinitarians and Unitarians.

Primitive Trinitarianism, must be acknowledged, we think, to be a belief in God the Father, and God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

Arianism, is the doctrine of Arius, who rose in the latter part of the third century of christianity, k and flourished in the fourth century. Arius was of Alexandria in Egypt; a man remarkable for quickness of apprehension, and a great orator. { He appeared in the Great Council at Nice, in the defence of his doctrine. This Nicean Council, or Synod, was, no doubt, the most important ever held in the christian world, since the Council held at Jerusalem in the Apostolic age. The doctrine of Arius consisted in what may be called Unitarianism, that is, he believed in one God the Creator. And, that Jesus Christ was not of the substance of the Father, but was created by God the Father; was the first creature that God created ; that he was of angelic nature; and, that he was at the head of creation. Some affirm he was the instrument by which God created the world.

Socicinianism, is the doctrine of Socinius, who was an Italian. He lived in the days of the Reformation from Popery, in the fifteenth century. Socinius believed in one God, and that Jesus Christ was a mere man, supernaturally endowed of God; that the spirit of God was given him without measure; and, that the fullness of the godhead dwelt in him bodily. This doctrine it appears was revived by Socinius from some Judaising teachers of an earlier date. This doctrine has been revived and defended by Dr. Priestly in the last century. The same doctrine has been defended by many in our country in the present century.

In these questions of doctrine, the great and important and most necessary points to be determined are whether God has an own proper Son, produced, or proceeding from his own eternal nature and substance and, whether this Son has taken human nature upon him, and is thereby made under the Divine Law given to Adam in Paradise, which law demanded perfect obedience under the penalty of death. Should it be found on examination that God has no such Son, or that he never took on him our nature, or was never made under this law-it follows, of course, that we have to trust in a created being for an atone-. ment for sin, and in a finite Mediator with God. Therefore-we shall first examine, whether God has a Son, or not. This ought to be determined by the Scriptures, if we pretend to make them the rule of our faith and practice.

In the old testament we find the term Son but rarely used. David uses the term twice in the 2d Psalm, verse 7th “I will declare the decree; the Lord hath said unto me, Thou art my Son ;

this day have I begotten thee.” And, again 11th and 12th verses, “Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way,when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him.” Again in Daniel, chapter 3, verses 24, 25—" Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, LO, I see four men loose walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” And Isaiah saith, chapter 9, verse 6, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder," &c. Agur, and a few more in the Old Testament have used the like expressions. Turning our attention to the New Testament, we find the expressions occur too often to make quotation of chapter and verse necessary. We think that Christ is called the Son of God not less than forty times. in the New Testament. That Christ is the Son of God in some sense, we presume will be acknowledged by all christians.

CHAPTER IV.

Observations upon the pre-existence, dignity, and divinity of the Son ;--Authors own opinion; Sabellianism, or the doctrine of a trinity of offices, and one person in the Godhead, and modern notions upon it, briefly stated and considered.

THE pre-existent state of the Son, and the dignity of his nature are points of great magnitude to be determined. First, we shall state as our own opinion, that Jesus Christ did exist in the bosom of the Father, before the world was, or time began-and that he is of the substance of the Father-the very and eternal God-of one nature with him-sharing with him in the throne of his glory, and partaking with him of the fullness of his attributes—that God created the worlds by him; that the worlds are now governed by him--and, that Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at the last day.

One of the most important points to be considered in discussing the positions assumed is, so to defend the personality of the father and Son as not to make them two separate and independent Gods, or totally distinct one from the other. I

Tritheists, or the worshippers of three Gods, who lay a foundation for the worshipping of many gods, is to be critically guarded against. On the other hand, should we so confound or unite the personality of the Father and Son, as the Sabellians did in the third century, so as to make but one person, the doctrine will appear not only absurd but dangerous. Sabellius contended, that God was but one person—that he who is in heaven is the father of all things that he descended into the virgin, and became a child, and was born of her as a son; and, that having accomplished the mystery of our salvation, he diffused himself on the apostles in tongues of fire, and then was denominated or called the Holy Ghost. This appears to be a trinity of offices and not of persons. And, although this doctrine was condemned by the church at that day, we have experienced a species of the same doctrine in this our age, springing up amongst us from men who appear over-zealous to defend the doctrine of the Trinity as they call it, and the Deity of Son. They contend that Jesus Christ is the Eternal Father, and that the Father and the Son, are one without distinction. As one expressed it, when Christ was on earth, heaven was destitute of a God. Another stated, that if he should say, that Jesus Christ was the Son of God, he should blaspheme. The scriptures usually cited in support of this doctrine, are found in Isaiah, chapter 9, verse 6, “ For unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God; the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace,

The passage quoted, has reference, no doubt, to the Son in his divine nature, being very God, and that he is, the really Father of the Universe as Creator. John and Paul both affirm, that God created all things by Jesus Christ.

The next passages quoted in defence of this doctrinal point, of trinity of offices, are found in John—" I and my Father are one.” “Make them one, as we are one,” &c.

These passages, no doubt, have reference to

« AnteriorContinuar »