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part of mankind. p. 417.-A gross libel upon the Majesty on High, to represent him as having appointed Adam to a trust for thousands of millions of his descendants, which he knew he was utterly unfit for. Ib.--Effects of a single breach of it upon his unconscious and unfortunate offspring. Their utter inability to help themselves, whilst he who alone can assist them, extends his favour only to a few, leaving all the rest to their melancholy fate. Ib.—He is represented also as calling on these unhappy victims, to look unto him and be saved; which is the greatest mockery and delusion, when he knows that not one of them can obey the call. p. 418.-Malignity must be the predominant feature in the character of such a being. The fabled Divinity of antiquity who devoured his own offspring, was mercy itself compared to him. p. 419,The latter had motives for his conduct, which the former had not. lh.-Should we not hold up a human father or Sovereign, who should act so, as a horrible and execrable tyrant? Would fallen creatures who had broken the laws of such a Being, have any foundation on which to stand at his tribunal ? Would not innumerable multitudes of them, notwithstanding the supposed atonement, be hurried from thence to everlasting torment? Would this system meet the wants and wishes of fallen man? p. 420.- This system also represents the Supreme Father in the character of a hard unfeeling creditor. p. 421.-It denies him the power of pardoning offences, until the full punishment for them has been inficted upon somebody, which is no pardon at all. It imputes to him the punishment of the innocent, instead of the guilty, and this it calls forgiveness. Supposed justice, which requires this, a justice of their own making. Ib.
Yet this is the golden image which Nebuchadnezzar has set up, and which we are commanded to fall down and worship. p. 422.-Contrast between this grim Idol, and the God of Holy Writ. -The latter described in Scripture as the father and friend of all, as infinitely benevolent, and abundantly pardoning all who forsake their evil ways, and return to him, without saying a word about punishing them, or any one else, in their stead, as a Being who blotteth out our transgressions for his own pame's sake, whose anger endureth but a moment, who is good to all, and whose loving kindness and tender mercies are over all his works. Ib.-The popular system contradicts all this, and ascribes to him attributes and conduct the very reverse. p. 423.--The language of Christ in the New Testament to the saine effect as that of the Prophets in the Old, representing his Father, and ours, as full of mercy and goodness, as one who actually forgives transgressions and sins, who will forgive us our tres. passes, as we forgive others theirs, which we are not to do by getting full satisfaction made for them by some one else. p. 424.-When asked what must be done to inherit eternal life, he tells the inquirer at once, without troubling him with any of the subtleties adopted in later ages. Had the doctrines of the infinite satisfaction, and atonement, been essential and fundamental parts of the Gospel, and men's salvation depended upon the belief of them, he would not bave been quite silent about them. p. 425.-The language of the Apostles in perfect unison, representing the Supreme Being to be love itself, to be one who wills that all men shall be saved, and his will must be accomplished; to be
one who is the Saviour of all men, especially of those that believe, which shews that those who do not believe, will, at some time or other, be saved also. Ib. Further proofs of the salvation of all men through Christ, from the Epistles to the Romans and Corinthians, and John i. 29. p. 426.Punishment reserved for the impenitent in future state, not to be vind ive, but correctional. Where sin bath abounded, grace is much more to abound. Christ is to reign till he has subdued all enemies, when the last enemy, and he only, is to be destroyed, and God to be all among all: which could not be, if there were to be thousands of millions of intelligent beings in a state of rebellion and enmity against him to all eternity. p. 429.A more rational construction, that after the resurrection there shall be a state of punishment called the second death, for the impenitent, who, having risen with all their vicious habits and propensities, will require a long and severe course of discipline so fully to reform them as to prevent all future relapses, and that Christ shall reign, till by the salutary, though severe measures of his administration, he shall have completely subdued them, and from enemies, have converted them all into friends, and all shall have benefited by his mission; when the second death having answered all its purposes, that last enemy shall be destroyed, and then Christ himself, having fulfilled all the objects of his mission, having died for all, and saved all, shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father, that God may be all among all, and universal goodness, virtue and happiness prevail for ever. p. 431.- A glorious and happy consummation, fully justifying the ways of God to man, and shewing the Gospel to be indeed good news to all mankind. This the religion, and the only religion, which can be uni. versal; the only religion which can give a creature who has sinned, a foundation on which he can stand at the tribunal of his judge; the only religion which can meet the necessities of fallen man, for it meets, and completely provides for, the necessities of them all. p. 432. It is the most beautiful, as well as beneficent system our warmest wishes could have aspired to. Its nature and character designate it, as having emanated from Him, whose most distinguished attribute is universal benevolence. How delightful to live under the government of 'such a glorious and beneficent sovereign ! With breasts glowing with gratitude, we can repose all our cares upon him, and not feel the desolating sense of despair, even if any who are dear to us, wander from his ways and die in penitent. Ib. Not to be wondered that we who entertain these views of the character and government of the Supreme Being, and his gracious designs towards ourselves and our fellow men, should bind them to our hearts, and cherish them as heavenly treasures. Conclusion,
MY DEAR SIR, My being at present so near to you, brings again to my recollection that I ought to return you many thanks for the letter you did me the favour to write to me about a year ago, which I have often intended to answer, but have been involved in such a variety of business as to have scarcely had sufficient time teft even for the most necessary correspondence.
I feel much indebted to you for the kind concern you express at my having fallen into what appear to you to be dangerous errors, upon some subjects connected with our common religion as Christians; alluding to the sentiments I expressed relative to the nature of Christ, when I had last the pleasure of your company in Town; and particularly to my quoting the passage from the beginning of the thirtieth to the end of the thirty-sixth verse of the tenth chapter of St. Johnwhich has been frequently cited in favour of the Tri
nitarian hypothesis--as furnishing in my judgement strongevidence of the contrary doctrine. In this passage our Saviour-having previously stated that he had power to lay down his life, and take it again ; that he had received this commandment from his Father; that the works he did in his Father's name bore witness of him; that his Father who had given his sheep to him was greater than all, and that no one was able to pluck them out of his Father's hand-says, “I and my Father are one;" (sv) in the neuter gender in the original, meaning one thing, or one and the same thing; and noteis, meaning one God or one person. Upon this the Jews--who are frequently represented as either misconceiving our Saviour's meaning from gross ignorance, or as designedly misrepresenting it took up stones to stone him: upon which he says, “Many good works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" To which the Jews reply, “For a good work we stone thee not, but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God” (in the original 9ɛov, God, or a god). Our Saviour answers, “Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods ? If he called them gods, to whom the word of God came, and the Scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest ; because I said I am the Son of God ?" From this last answer I stated, that it appeared to me to be manifestly our Saviour's meaning-If I had called myself God, or a god, I
should have been justified by your own Scriptures, in which those prophets and holy men of old, to whom the word of God came, are called gods. But I did no such thing; I only said that I was the son of God;and do you charge me with blasphemy for this ?
In the letter you were so good as to send me, you state, that the word of God which came to the prophets of old was the Eternal Logos, meaning the second person in the Trinity, i. e. our Saviour himself. But there appear to me to be most weighty objections to this opinion—which by the way is opinion only: for if we . refer to the first verse of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, in order to ascertain who it was, that spoke by the prophets in times of old, before the advent of our Saviour,—and I would rather interpret Scripture by Scripture, than trust to the interpretations of all the councils that were ever convened, or the emperors and popes who assembled them, and sometimes by force, and sometimes by fraud, influenced their decisions, we shall find that it was God the Father, and not the Son, that spoke to the fathers by the prophets : for it is there declared, that God who spoke to them by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken to us by his Son. Hence it is plain that Jesus Christ is represented as the Son of that God, who spoke to the fathers by the prophets. If therefore that God, who spoke to the fathers by the prophets, was the second person in the Trinity, the Eternal Logos, and Jesus Christ be. God, there must be a quaternity (if I may use such an expression) instead of a Trinity.