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It may be supposed by the reader, that a suffcient number of volumes have been written on this subject already. But when in the course of experience, we find that learned, ingenious, and artful men, in every age, devise new methods of attacking this doctrine, which every reflecting and christian mind will esteem most dear and sacred, we who are lovers of the doctrine, and whose hopes and faith of eternal life and happiness are founded upon it, ought to be diligent in repelling adversary attacks, and vigilant in divising, in some sense, new methods of precaution and defence.
We are greatly mistaken, if Doctor Clarke and Mr. Millard, are not adversaries of this character, Their attack, in our estimate is somewhat new, and artful. After as much research as our means and opportunity would permit, we have not been able to learn from any authority, ancient or modern, that the positions of opposition, which they have taken, has been before taken by any divine, in their exact manner and form, in any period of time, previous to the latter part of the last century.
We do not set ourselves up as infallible judges, nor would we darken counsel. We do, howevel tertain hopes, that the charitable christian reauer, when he has given our little work a candid perusal, will be somewhat assisted in deciding for himself; and if not greatly edified, we trust he will find nothing, which will impeach our motives. If we are the humble means of awakening the reader to meditations upon this divine doctrine, and to a comparison of our views, with the sacred scriptures, and the writings of the Fathers, and the creeds of churches, we are fully persuaded, our labors will not have been vain and useless. And we have no doubt, such a course of reflection and examination will improve and edify.
Our object is not controversy, it is to seek gospel truth for ourselves, to declare it one to another as we understand it, and to call others to Bible examination and inquiry. If thereby, our call to others, in any degree, confirms the weak in faith, establishes the wavering, or disencumbers the affections of the double-minded—and if it awakens in any the spirit of love and inquiry after a more perfect knowledge of God, through the medium of his revelation to our fallen race, our labors will not be entirely unavailable, and transitory. “The wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without dissimulation.” Our great motive is to guard against errors, temptations, doubtings, and stumblings in the heavenly race which is set before us; and our prayerful desire is to gather up our thoughts and affections, so that the reader, as well as ourselves, may be led to contemplate, and diligently search for those truths and wonders of redeeming love, “which things angels desire to look into.” Ouy
design is, likewise, “ That the trial of our faitli, may be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” even to the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls. And while we are sojourners upon earth, that our faith may be firm and sincere, and appear “a divine evidence of things not seen, wrought in the soul by the immediate power of the Holy Ghost,and a means of holiness." That our faith in our Lord may be steadfast, and outwardly fruitful,affording budding evidences of His being the “ fountain of spiritual life in the soul of believers," flowing out and exhibiting itself through us in “fruits of faith, hope, love and patience. And while we are daily feeding upon, and striving to possess more and more the holiness and happiness of the gospel, may we
grow in grace,” and may our “ labour be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless."
“Beloved, keep yourselves from idols”"From all worship of false gods, from all worship of images, or of any creature, and from every inward idol."
To our Brethren of the Reformed Methodist
HAVING been regularly appointed in your behalf, as a Committee to examine, prepare, and approve if suitable, a work upon the subject of the Trinity; we, in pursuance of this our appointment, have examined the labours of Brother ELIJAH BAILEY, on the proposed topic, and do recommend and approve the same.
In doing this, we think we have performed our duty to you with that care this important gospel theme demanded.. We are aware, that every human work, has its short-comings, and its errors, we therefore, dare not pretend there are none in this work, yet we trust the errors are not many and flagrant, and we are not availed of any, touching points of doctrine. As it is, we warmly recommend it to your attentive and prayerful reading ; hoping it may be edifying in those everlasting and divine truths, which to “know aright is life eternal.”
In the prayerful hope, we may all grow in grace, and in the knowledge, of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. “Peace be with you all that are in Christ.”
TRINITARIANISM EXAMINED AND
CHAPTER 1. introductory remarks-distinction between Trinitarian and
Unitarian doctrines—of the plural expression Elohim-the words us and orir as spoken by God himself—Moses' declarations--the Jews understood them in a trinitarian light--the improbability of Moses leading the people into idolatry under his special commission from Jehovah to lead them from it.
“BELOVED," saith Jude, “when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation', it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints." And the apostle Paul informs us, that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” Consequently a right knowledge of our Creator, Redeemer, and Sanétifier, are points of the first magnitude, and ought to be the first concern to every creature bound to the bar of God. And God hath in infinite mercy, condescended to make early discoveries of himself to mankind--for “ the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth forth his handy-work." And, unquestionably, God made as early discoveries of himself to man in his primeval state, by his Divine Spirit, in regard to the perfections of his nature, the mode of his ex