Imágenes de páginas

we receive the testimony of inen, the testimony of God is greater; and this is the testimony of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God hath the witness in himself," &e. Who then can doubt our title to, and the real beginning, of our eternal life; and the divinity of our Lord? What thing is better substantiated, than the station the Father naturally sustains, in the Trinity; or what is better defended than the Divinity of the Son or what is more immovable, and secured, or exalted in our worship, than the divine honour which is jusly and naturally attached to the Father on account of his paternity, and planning; or to the Word, on account of his divine Sonship, and executing; or to the Holy Ghost, on account of his divine work of sanctifying, or of perfecting; or to the divine unity and majesty of the triune Godhead. The Unity and oneness of the three, in essence, knowledge, will,and testimony is indubitable,if any thing, even if our own existence is a certainty. So we feel, and in so much is our faith firm and steadfast. The Son, we repeat, is divine in his nature. . .

- We are also, as unshaken, that the salvation of man depends upon the maintenance of the doctrine, as we are in its verity and truth. The doctrine, therefore, being in our estimation, of infinite magnitude and importance, as the foundation of the gospel plan of salvation, demands our most anxious, prayerful, and solemn attention. If it is true that man's original transgression cannot be pardoned without an infinite atonement, and very few professed believers in any age have doubted it; and even the wisest heathen philosophers, were persuaded of its absolute necessity: and that a revelation was needed to show the way and d manner, and even conceded the point that infinite Scre wisdom alone could devise and perfect the plan of heba redemption; we say if this necessity existed, and he if in the gospel our only title to eternal life, and a doc never ending, heavenly inheritance, is to be found, kiş the motives to lay hold upon it, will be of the curs same eternal character.

It may therefore, be of much interest to reflect ot, upon and inquire for a few moments into the need cessity we have for divine interposition, and a di- vh vine means of ransom. The command was, “But štor of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou or shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest wat thereof thou shalt surely die." We think the maci character and extent of it is very manifest and soft plain. The Veracity, and Word of God was Ravi pledged—" in the day thou eatest thereof thou Mar shalt surely die.Now man disobeyed tan the command, and did eat thereof, and it was seen violation of the command, and not only this, the W veracity or word of the God-head, or of the Faire ther was pledged; " for in the day thou eatest < thereof thou shalt surely die.” Now if the Fa ta ther sustains the first office and station, in creation, and the plan of redemption, and the trinity, oh this transgression must be considered against the itt Father, or the Majesty of the God-head on High. For God considered as the Father to become veiled in humanity, and become a substitute for man, and become as a Lamb, “in fashion as a man," under that law, and offer an oblation to God, in our opinion, would seem absurd.

And were there three co-ordinate Gods--the top transgression would be equally against the three, :S and t e would appear an inconsistency for el

ther of the three to become surety to the other two to redeem man from his state of ruin.

We have considered in this work, there was much reason, and assurance, that a created being could not render to God obedience, over and above, the obligations they naturally owe to God. And of course, no created being could offer a sacrifice for the sins of a world of men. Hence it is, if God has not given us an only begotten Son, possessing all the divine attributes, as we have contended; and which we have concluded Christ does possess; we know not where to find a Mediator or Redeemer, to ransom man from the state of the fall, and the sentence of the law, and by an atonement to reconcile man to God, and restore him to the favor of the Highest, and most holy Father.

Having therefore examined the works of Doctor Clarke, and Mr. Millard, we hope with a proper and charitable temper, and with all due respect for them, including also, some notices of Mr. Worcester. Finding, as we apprehend some insurmountable difficulties in their respective systems. We have concluded to turn our attention, and lay before our readers, some of the views, of the most excellent divines, as we esteem them, who have written on the subject of the Trinity, and the proper Sonship of Jesus Christ, since the days of the reformation. We purpose also to annex for further edification on this topic, some striking declarations of the Fathers of the three first centuries of christianity. We shall also add some remarks on the most approved articles of the reformed churches. By this we shall ascertain, whether we are alone in our beliefs, and thereby become enlightened and strengthened in the way of the gospel. Yet while we

hope to possess that confidence and faith which, insureth Eteřnal life, we hope also, to have char-, ity and brotherly love towards brethren ; for we deprecate the arrogance and illiberality of that class, who engross to themselves the name of orthodoxy, and despise others who do not agree with them, for this spirit is unholy and anti-christian. This charge is not to be understood as having any allusion to Doctor Clarke. Orthodox, ia its modèrn use is a word of doubtful weaning, pero haps few words have more ambiguity. If those who have left the primitive doctrine of the Triaity and claim the name Trinitarian and of ortho- . doxy, are orthodox, we know not what class of < men may not claim it, with equal propriety and force of application. Where they are, and what class of men they are to be likened unto, and ly what name they are to be known, is left :o the judgment of the pious reader. And no reil. christian will shrink from the scrutiny and jud ment of men of apostolic and real piety.


Introductory Remarks.

This part of our work, we commence with the 3d chapter of Mr. Fletcher's works, and which he wrote in vindication of the divinity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity, against the attack of Doctor Priestly. Mr Fletcher was one of the vicars of the church of England. Doctor Priesty a modern Socinian. The candid reader, whether acquainted with Mr. Fletcher's works, or not, are requested to give them a careful and attentive perusal; and to note well the weight and force of his arguments, and compare them with Scripture, and with our preceding remarks ; and prayerfully consider, “ unto what, then, were ye baptized ?" Acts 19, 3. We wish also, particular examination may be especially given, of his proofs that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his divine nature ; and that critical comparison be made of the views of Mr. Fletcher and the opposite views of Doctor Clarke:

« AnteriorContinuar »