图书图片
PDF
ePub

trines, and to pass sentences, not very favourable, upon those who are of a different opinion from themselves. There cannot be then, I apprehend, any sufficient reason to condemn an attempt to represent in a fair and impartial manner divers sentiments concerning the Deity, and the person of Christ, together with the reasons and arguments by which they are. supported. I have already considered two schemes, concerning the Deity, and a Trinity, and the person of Christ; one, that which is reckoned the commonly received opinion, or orthodox ; the other sometimes called Arianism. The third, to be now considered, is sometimes called the doctrine of the Unitarians or the Nazareans. These believe that there is one God alone, even the Father, eternal, almighty, possessed of all perfections, without any defects, or limits, unchangeable, the Creator of all things visible and invisible, the ". Lord and Governor of the world, whose providential care upholds all things, who spoke to the patriarchs in the early ages of the world, to the people of Israel by Moses, and other prophets, and in these latter ages of the world to all mankind by Jesus Christ, and by him will distribute equal recompenses to all, according to their behaviour in this world. For farther illustrating this point, it will be proper to show more distinctly the opinion of those persons concerning God the Father, or the Divine Unity, the person of Christ, and the Holy Spirit. - First, Concerning God the Father, or the Divine Unity; which appears to be the doctrine of the Old and New Testament, from the beginning to the end. Moses, the Jewish lawgiver, and their greatest prophet, before the gospel-dispensation, begins his five bo. with an account of the creation of the world. The first of the ten commandments, delivered with so great solemnity to the Jewish people, soon after their deliverance from Egyptian o and before they were put into possession of Canaan, as a distinct and independent nation and people, is, “I am the Lord thy God, who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no j. gods before me,” Exod. xx. 1, 2; that is, before my face, in my sight, to which all things are open, from whom no deviation from this law can be hid, and will be overlooked and unresented. In the fourth of those ten laws or commandments, it is said, “Remember the sabbath-day to keep it hol For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day,” ver. 10, ll.

After the rehearsal of those commandments, and other
things in the book of Deuteronomy, it is said, “Hear, O
Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord,” Deut. vi. 4.
Ps. lxxxiii, 28, “That men may know, that thou, whose
name alone is Jehovah, art the Most High over all the
earth.”
Isa. xl. 28, “Hast thou not known, hast thou not heard,
that the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth,
fainteth not, nor is weary "
Isa. xliv. 6, “Thus saith the Lord, the king of Israel, and
his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am
the last And beside me there is no God.” Ver. 8, “Is
there a God beside me? Yea, there is no God. I know not
any.” Ver. 24, “Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, and
he that formed thee from the womb : I am the Lord that
maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone,
that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.”
Such, then, is the doctrine of the Old Testament. There
is one God, even Jehovah, eternal, unchangeable, the Crea-
tor of the heavens and the earth, and all things therein, the

Lord God, and King of Israel.

Let us now observe the doctrine of the New Testament,
which, if from heaven, cannot be different, but must be
harmonious with that of the Old.

Matt. iv. 9, 10, When Satan tempted our Lord, and said,
“All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down
and worship ine. Jesus said unto him, Get thee hence,
Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy
Go!, and him only shalt thou serve,” See Deut. vi. 13, and
x. 20. • .

Mark xii. 28–34, “And one of the scribes came, —
and asked him, which is the first commandment of all of And

..Jesus answered him; The first of all the commandments is,

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. And thou
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with
all thy mind, and with all thy strength. This is the first
commandment.——And the scribe said unto, him, Well,
Master, thou hast said the truth; for there is one God, and
there is none other but he And when Jesus saw that he
answered discreetly, he said, Thou art not far from the
kingdom of God.” See Deut. vi. 4, 5. . . -
Luke xviii. 18, 19, “And a certain ruler asked him, say-
ing, Good Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? There
is none good save one, that is God.”
John xvii. 1–3, “These words spake Jesus, and lift up
VOL. IX. 2 Q

[ocr errors]

his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come, glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee. As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Our Lord therefore, we see, prays to God, even the Father, “his Father, and our Father, his God, and our God.” John xx. 17. And gives to him the character of “the only true God.” It might be here not improperly observed farther, that God, even the Father, is he, in whose name, and by whose authority, our Lord professed to act, whose will he did, to whom he resigned himself, whose glory ultimately, and above all things, he sought, and not his own. John v. 30, “I can of my own self do nothing. As I hear I judge. And my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which sent me.” Wer. 36, “But I have greater witness than that of John. For the works which the Father hath given me to finish, the same works that I do bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me.” Ver. 43, “I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not.” John vii. 16, “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me.” John xii. 49, “ For I have not spoken of myself. But the Father which sent me, he gave me commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” The apostles of Christ were unanimous, and after their Lord's resurrection and ascension to heaven, pray, and preach as he had done. Acts iii. 12, 13. After the healing of the lame man that sat at the gate of the temple, the people ran together to Peter and John. “When Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus, whom ye delivered up.” It is the God of the patriarchs and prophets, in whose name they act, by whom, they supposed, their miracles were wrought, for confirming the authority and doctrine of Jesus. Afterwards, when delivered from a great danger, Acts iv. 23–30, “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voices to God, and said, Lord, thou art God who hast

made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that is therein And now, Lord, behold their threatenings, and grant unto thy servants that with all boldness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth thy hand to heal, ...? that signs and wonders may be done by the name of thy holy child,” servant, “Jesus.” And ch. v. 29–31, before the whole Jewish council: “Then Peter and the other apostles answered, and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree. Him hath God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.” Thus they ascribe the gospel-dispensation to the one God, Creator of heaven and earth, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and of the people of Israel. To the same &. the apostles offer up prayers and praises in their epistles. Says St. Paul, Eph. iii. 14, “ For this cause I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” And St. Peter, 1 Ep. i. 3, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Eph. v. 20, “Giving thanks always for all things unto God, even the Father, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In many other places of their epistles the apostles expressly teach, that there is but one God, even the Father. I Cor. viii. 4–6, “We know that an idol is nothing, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be, that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) yet to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, [by whom are all things,I and we by him.” 2 Cor. xi. 31, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; or, God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.” 1 Tim. i. 17, “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever.” 1 Tim. vi. 15, 16, “Which in his time he shall show, who is the blessed and only potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, who only hath immortality. To whom be honour and power everlasting.” Jude v. !. “To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and ever.” Eph. iv. 5, 6, “There is one ord, one faith, one baptism, 2 Q

one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.” And in this second chapter of the epistle to the Philippians we are assured, that our Lord has been exalted, “that every tongue should confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” From all which it is concluded, that there is one God, even the Father. In the next place we are to observe, what is the sentiment of these persons concerning our blessed Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ. And, in short, their sentiment is, that he is a man, with a reasonable soul and human body, especially favoured of God. Of which there are these proofs. He was born of a woman. We have an account of our Lord's nativity in two evangelists, both agreeing, that he was born of a virgin, and “conceived by the Holy Ghost,” as it is expressed in the apostle's creed, Matt. i. 18–25, “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise. When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost,-Joseph, her husband, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, the angel of the Lord appeared unto hin, in a dream, saying: Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife. For that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son. And thou shalt call his name Jesus—Then Joseph, being raised from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him; and took unto him his wife. And knew her not till she had brought forth her first-born son. And he called his name Jesus.” St. Luke i. 26–38, “The angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David, and the virgin's name was Mary And the angel said unto her; Fear not, Mary, for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest. And the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David.” Must not this be reckoned full proof, that Jesus was a man, and that it was designed to represent him to us as such 3 Not made as Adam, but born of a woman! not in the ordinary way of generation, but of a virgin, by

« 上一页继续 »