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Th' Acanthus on Corinthian fanes,
These perish all—and what remains 1
'Tisstill the same; where'er we tread,
The wrecks of human power we see,
Left to decay and thee.
August in beauty, grace, and strength ;—
And all is thine at length!
THE REVELLERS.—Bv The Same.
Ring, joyous chords! yet again, again!
Ring, joyous chords!—but who art thou,
Ring, joyous chords !—yet again, again!
Ring, joyous chords !—yet again, again!
Ring, joyous chords!—yet again, again!
Art. II.—Remarks on a late Article in the Wesleyan Journal. By a Member of the Charleston Unitarian Tract Society. Charleston, S. C. 1825. 8vo. pp. 16.
We are always happy to receive a pamphlet from certain hands in Charleston, because we are always sure that it will reward us well for the trouble of reading it; sure that it contains some original views, or, at least, some fresh and forcible illustrations of old ones. We have seldom seen more argument compressed into a small space, than in the sixteen pages now before us, and we doubt whether a better specimen of what theological controversy ought to be, could any where be found.
The piece is an answer to an article which appeared lately in the Wesleyan Journal, a work which is conducted with some ability, and which set out with more than common professions of liberality and charity. In what manner those professions were maintained in practice, may be judged of by the article in question.
'" Unitarian Antidote. Unitarian principles, if true, shut all men out of heaven, by denying the Saviour's Divine nature, and atonement; seeing All have sinned and are guilty before God. Rom. iii. 19. And a created being—can by no means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him. Psal. xlix. 7.
'" Hebrews i. 6, 7, it is written, when he (the Father) bringcth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the Angels of God worship him. * * * * Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. Hence Reason concludes that Christ is essentially God; or all the Angels of God (who disobey not his command) are idolaters.
'" The oracles of God declare, All manner of sin and blasphemy (against the Father and the Son) shall be forgiven to men; but blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. Hence Reason, 'infallible Reason!' infers, If either is greatest in the adorable Trinity, it is God the Holy Ghost.
'" But greater or lesser in infinity is not; inferior Godhead shocks our sense; Jesus was inferior to the Father, as touching his manhood. John xiv. 28. He was a Son given and slain, intentionally, from the foundation of the world. Rev. xiii. 8. And the first born from the dead of every creature. Col. i. 15, 18.'" But our Redeemer from everlasting, Isa. lxiii. 16, had not the inferior name of Son. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, from eternity; and the Word, made flesh, was God, and dwelt among us. John i. 14; x. 30. And as it was in the beginning, so after his ascension, His Name is called the Word of God. Rev. xix. 13. He who is, and who was, and who cometh—He that liveth and was dead, and is alive for evermore, saith, I am Alpha, and Omega, the First, and the Last, the Lord God Almighty. Isa. xliv. 6 ; Rev. 1. 5. 8. 18."'
pp. 3, 4.
In consequence of this curious sample of orthodox text quoting, the author of the pamphlet addressed a letter to the editor of the Journal, requesting his permission to insert a defence, in the same publication which had harboured the attack,' provided it should contain no bitter insinuation or harsh retort, but a sim-, pie statement of scriptural facts and sincere arguments.'
The editor took no notice of this communication, and the defence was published by the author in a separate form. Each position of the offending article is deliberately examined, and proved to be destitute of foundation, excepting the first, that 'all have sinned, and are guilty before God;' a truth which will be allowed by all. The perversion of the passage in the 49th Psalm, will be perceived by any one who will turn to the verse. It furnishes an opportunity to the writer, however, to express some happy thoughts on the general subject of redemption. These we pass over, and come to a paragraph, which contains a great deal of sound scripture criticism, not new indeed, but uttered with so much clearness, that the simplest can understand it, and with such vivacity of style, that they who are the most familiar with the controversy will nevertheless peruse it with interest.
'The next passage is as follows. "Heb. i. 6, 7, it is written, when he (the Father) bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, let all the angels of God worship him.* * * Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. Hence reason concludes, that Christ is essentially God, or all the angels of God (who disobey not his commands) are idolaters."
'No indeed. Reason concludes no such thing. By the way, I am glad to see my trinitarian brethen willing to appeal sometimes to reason. God forbid that we should ever place its authority above Scripture, but it is an excellent handmaid to discover the true sense of Scripture, and adopting it as such, I will now join issue with the writer before me. In this passage, then,
vOl. III.—NO. n. 17
the fatal word, which has deluded our opponents, is, worship. They forget that its scriptural signification is not always the adoration which created beings owe to their Creator. In one of Christ's parables, a servant falls down and worships his master. (Matt, xviii. 26.) Surely not as the supreme being, but only as an object of deep fear and reverence. So in 1 Chron. xxix. 20, all the congregations worshipped the Lord and the king; L e. "bowed down their heads," in token of legal obedience to the one, and religious awe to the other. That worship is said in Scripture to be due to Christ, can never therefore be adduced as a proof of his divinity; and we must always interpret the meaning of the word according to the passage where it occurs, and not according to a preconceived creed. Now, then, let us look at the passage in question, Heb. i. Here we find the apostle descanting on the official character of Jesus as the Messiah, not upon his metaphysical divine nature. Instead of confounding Jesus with Jehovah, he says, that God has spoken unto us by his Son, in the same way, (mark the very words of the Apostle, in like manner,) as he formerly did by the Prophets; he says, that God has appointed him heir of all things; he says, that Christ is the express image of God's person; (an image is generally inferior to the original;) he says, that he was made better than the angels; (this cannot be spoken of his human nature, since " man is created a little lower than the angels," but it refers to his official character as Messiah, which has been wrongly confounded with his person and nature, and thus caused so many disputes among Christians;) he says, that God has anointed him above his fellows, referring, I think, either to the angels or the prophets mentioned in this chapter; otherwise, I should be thankful to know what it means. Does all this phraseology lead us to suppose that Jesus can be the only true and adorable God? Far from it. By the angels being commanded to worship him, therefore, is only meant that as the message of Jesus to mankind was superior in value and importance to any thing that Jehovah had ever before transacted, by means of angels or any other instruments, for the welfare of mankind, so, their inferiority to him is represented by appropriate and expressive acts of reverence. To say, that worship must here mean supreme homage, is to assume the decision of the question by our own authority, to say what the context cannot warrant, and what the word in other places does not require. A single objection only remains on this point, and is noticed by the article under consideration. Jehovah is represented as saying to Jesus, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever." Here, too, Unitari