Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

favor of that sentiment; and then find out wherein the Doctor's mistake lay, and compare it with what is deemed the genuine sentiment of the apostles, of Moses, and the prophets. It would be well to add, in this place, that the Doctor did not profess to be, on this important point, an Arian, strictly speaking ; neither do we allude to these statements, to mar the character of that very venerable and useful man, to whom, under God, the church of Christ are much indebted, for some of his most excellent performances; and we trust, he is sharing a long reward in glory, for his works of faith, and labors of love ; and may the same spirit, which is so visible in all his works, govern our hearts, and dictate to the pen that indites. Nor are the ideas of the Doctor brought forward to aid the Arian system, but for the purpose of yielding all the concessions we can in conscience to that system of doctrine, and to see more clearly wherein the flaw of its arguments consists.

The Doctor takes up about 400 pages in endeavoring to show that the human soul of Jesus Christ, existed before the coming of Christ in the flesh, and then states, in similar terms with Arius, that the human soul of Jesus Christ, probably was the first being, and the most noble and excellent being that God ever created; and the being in whom the God-head resided, and was manifested in a peculiar manner. He then proceeds to speak of the quality, and faculties of this character in his pre-existent state, as well as in his state of glorification after his ascension. If we are not mistaken, he discovered something like omnipresence, to be a necessary qualification, for our Mediator's process, in order to know

all his subjects, and all their wants, and to hear all their petitions, to enable him to present them to his Father. And on these points he brings forward a metaphor or comparison of the human soul of Jesus Christ, and likens it to a glass bowl, placed in the centre of a room, on which every thing within that compass would reflect. That the God-head, he says, resided in the human soul of Jesus Christ in a peculiar manner, and to support and illustrate these ideas, he introduces some arguments from natural philosophy, and from reason, which are to this amount-we can not tell how far an infinite wise God can extend the powers, wisdom, knowledge, senses, and faculties of a created being; and how many other faculties and senses may be added to a character of this description, is impossible for us to decide. He mentions some animal faculties. The bloodhound, for instance, as possessing the sense of smelling in a degree far superior to the human species; and then observes, that if Cyrus could know every man in all his vast army, and the places from whence they were, why could not the human soul of Jesus Christ, know all these things ? These, however, ingenious, are far from being satisfactory and conclusive upon this subject.

It is possible, we have not been acquainted with the authors which are most approved of, amongst the Arians, but we may, without adventuring much, conclude, that it is impossible any arguments drawn from human reason or philosophy, can be advanced more substantial, in favor of the Arian system, than the arguments advanced by the Doctor. Should we admit on the principles of philosophy and reason, that an infinite

ly wise and powerful God, could create a being', and place him at the head of the universe, and extend his powers and faculties, ten thousand times ten thousand, beyond what we, or the Doetor, ever imagined ; and add a hundred senses of which we have no knowledge, still the work is imperfect, and the position unsatisfactory; and we feel constrained to object to this system, as accounting for the mysteries of redeeming grace, or as an explanation of the Gospel texts in this matter; they are not to be determined by human reason alone, nor by any philosophical principles, except divine philosophy revealed by the Word. The question is not, what God can do, but what God has done; and this must be decided by the Record which God hath given us of his Son.

If the Doctor is incorrect, in his views on this subject, it will be profitable for us to spend a few moments in enquiring for the stumbling-block, over which the Doctor seems, at least to us, to have stumbled. It is an admonition also, to us to be cautious of the same danger. The first difficulty and mistake, we think the Doctor labored under, was, in imagining all souls were created at once, or were created before their bodies were prepared for them. We do not undertake to say, that he has stated this expressly, but we are under the necessity of drawing this inference from his views. For if the soul is generated with the body, as we have reason to believe it is; and as is universally believed, by philosophers and divines, at the present day; and that Jesus Christ took on him the seed of Abraham, from the blessed virgin, we say, if this is the case, then Jesus Christ must possess two human souls, one created before the foundation of the world, and the other, from the seed of Abraham, that is, from

the virgin; and it is thought, the Doctor, never would contend for this last position, or that this was the case.

We have a reason, for the belief that this was the Doctor's view, viz. In one of his poems, he says,

“And in some unknown moment join'd,

· The finish'd members to the mind;" which intimates, that he thought the soul or spirit, was added after the members or body was completed. And this same difficulty, Mr. Worcester appears to labor under, as to the true humanity of Jesus Christ, for he expresses it in his works, as bible news, and acknowledges it was a point he had not fully digested.

The next difficulty, which it appears the Doctor labored under, notwithstanding his extensive studies and learning, was that he did not diligently compare the old and new testament together, on this point, although he might have done it on other points.

By perusing his works critically, and we are sure impartially, it is found the Doctor followed something of the same line which we have followed in some part of this work, namely, an examination of the manifestations made to the patriarchs and prophets, by our Lord Jesus Christ in his pre-existent state. And the whole difficulty which appears to have rested on his mind, was to know who this character could be, who sometimes appeared in such dignity and glory, and demanded, and received homage and worship; appearing sometimes as an Angel, and messenger, or in the form of a man. The Doctor observed on these points, that it seemed, there was something in this character, that did not ap

pear like the real Deity, or the real God-head; but in all this, he did not deny the doctrine of the Trinity, but would observe, notwithstanding, the doctrine of the trinity; or words to that amount ; and concluded, it must be the human soul of Jesus Christ, in which the God-head dwelt, This seems to have comprised all the Doctor's labors upon this subject, and he seems to have stopped at this idea, without any sufficient comment or enquiry, whether or not, this personage was actually one of the characters which 'compose the trinity.

« AnteriorContinuar »