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have been formed in the very first year of the reign of Ahaz, and the young woman, or the virgin, to whom the prophet alluded, to have married, and borne a child in the shortest possible time, the whole prophecy was fulfilled before that child could have been of sufficient age to know to refuse the evil, and choose the good; that is, before his arrival at years of discretion; since he could only have been three years old, probably not nearly so much, when all was accomplished. I feel it impossible for me to say, after this, that I think that the application of the prophecy in question by the author of the supposed first chapter of St. Matthew,with all reason and probability, and every fact we know any thing of, against it, standing as it does, totally unconfirmed by any Scripture writer whomsoever, not one of whom makes any similar application of it,-is
is entitled to the least degree of credit.
But to return to the subject of the incarnation.This doctrine, whether the incarnation meant by it be supposed to have been effected by the assumption of the human nature of our Lord into the godhead; that is, into the divine Logos, the supposed second in the Trinity, according to the creed ascribed to St. Athanasius, or the entering of the divine Logos into the human nature, which alone corresponds with the term incarnation,' was never taught by our Lord himself; and where to find it, or any thing like it, in the whole compass of Scripture, I am at a loss to discover. Upon the first of these suppositions, besides its
being no incarnation at all, but on the contrary an indeation,-if I may be allowed to coin an awkward word to express it,—it is, as I have remarked already, contrary even to the trinitarian interpretation of the passage in the first chapter of St. John, “and the word was made flesh;” but might have answered better, had it run thus, "and the flesh was made word;" though it would not then have been quite correct. The second supposition, that the divine Logos entered into the human nature, and became permanently united to it, though it would be a proper incarnation, is also at variance with the trinitarian translation of the passage in St. John just quoted, which conveys no other idea in itself, than that of transmutation, which is very different from entering into, and becoming united to, any thing.
But waving all further observation on these two discordant hypotheses, let us consider the incarnation „simply as a permanent union of the divine Logos, the supposed second person of the Trinity, with the human nature of our Lord, so as to constitute together with it one person, having two distinct natures, which is, I believe, what all modern European trinitarians are agreed in :--where, my dear sir, is this to be found, except in the creeds and decrees of uninspired, and fallible, councils, and synods, and the writings of uninspired, and fallible, theologians ? Our Lord never gives the most distant hint of his having two natures; never speaks of any union, but between himself and the Father, nor of any superior
Being dwelling in him, but the Father only. He speaks of himself plainly and simply as a man, who had told the Jews the truth, and whom they sought on that account to kill. John viii. 40. If he had been conscious of the divine Logos—which is supposed by the trinitarians to have made the heavens, and earth, and all things, and to be omnipotent-being inseparably united to him, and constituting one person with his human nature, how could he have said “I can of mine own self do nothing." John v. 30. “The Father who dwelleth in me, he doth the works.” John xiv, 10. Where do any of the apostles speak of the incarnation, or of any two natures in our Lord? which they might have been expected frequently to have mentioned as doctrines of great importance, as the trinitarians of the present day do. How was it that Peter in his first sermon after the resurrection, when he described to his countrymen who our Lord was, and converted three thousand of them, never so much as hinted at this stupendous, and infinitely important, doctrine; but merely described him as a man approved of God, by miracles, signs, and wonders, which God did by him ?
Is it not most extraordinary, if the divine Logos was inseparably united to the human nature of our Lord, so as to constitute with it but one person, that it does not appear to have enabled him to perform one miracle, to impart one divine revelation, or to bear one suffering? That it did not enable him to perform any miracles is
undeniable, not only from the absence of all proof, or assertion, to this effect, but also from his own express declarations so often alluded to: “I can of mine own self-do nothing. The Father who dwelleth in me, he doth the works.”' That it did not enable him to make any divine revelations, aprears likewise from his own declarations : “My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me." John vii. 16. And he elsewhere declares that it was his Father who sent him. John v.375 So he afterwards says upon the same subject; “ As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.” John viii. 28. Here it appears by strong implication, not only that what he spoke was from his Father, but that he did not. previously know it himself, and required to be taught it by, and to learn it from, another. Again he says, “ For I have not spoken of myself, but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.” John xii. 49, 50. That it did not enable him to bear any sufferings, is to be collected, not only from there being no proof, or assertion, that it did, but from the account given us of his suffering in the garden, just before his crucifixion, when the evangelist informs us, Luke xx. 43, that "there appeared an angel unto him from heaven strengthening him;" which would have been both absürd, and useless, if the divine Logos had enabled him to bear his sufferings. What a lamentable exhibi
tion is made by this text, upon the trinitarian hypothesis of the incarnation, of a created being strengthening his Creator, -of a poor finite angel of limited powers, a being not even pure in the sight of his God, nor free from the charge of folly before him, strengthening Omnipotence and Omniscience! Some trinitarians perhaps would contend, that it was only the human nature of our Lord that was strengthened by the angel. But in the first place the evangelist does not say so, but speaks of our Lord generally, and entirely; and, so far from confining what he says to a part of him, that is to one particular nature, does not appear from any part of his writings to have had the least idea of our Lord's having two natures. What right have we then to add to his words mere suppositions, made expressly to favour an hypothesis of our own ? Secondly, all that constituted our Lord, even according to the trinitarian doctrine, made but one person ; therefore when the evangelist speaks of him, he must be understood to speak of that person, and not of any particular part of him, unless he tells us so, which he has not done. Thirdly, as according to the trinitarians, the divine nature was inseparably united to the human nature, what occasion could there be to send an angel from heaven to strengthen the human nature, when it had already almighty power always united to, and present with it, which must have rendered the assistance of a finite, limited, and created being quite superfluqus ? If there had been any proof of such an