Imatges de pÓgina
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stones of the streets have risen and proclaimed it? Would not all Nature have become vocal, and echoed the solemn truth throughout the world ? When we consider how fully and plainly Paul preached upon subjects of minor importance, to that of the supreme Divinity of Christ (if it is well founded)how he testified clearly as to the advent of the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah sent from the Father — as to his whole life, his miracles, sufferings, crucifixion, death, resurrection and ascension, and find nothing declaratory of his self-existent Deity, we must say, that this perfect silence of Paul, this total absence of all evidence on the subject, is, of itself alone, full, positive proof that the doctrine cannot be true. For there is such a thing as silent eloquence — there is such a thing as dumb testimony. The great Poet describes “ Cæsar's dumb wounds," as moving, powerful, proclaiming witnesses. If Paul then has kept back nothing — if he has declared the whole counsel of God, and yet not told us, in plain terms, that. Christ is God - if he was not ignorant or unfaithful, his silence upon this subject, his neglecting to establish its truth, under all the circumstances, amply proves the negative. All the writings of the ancient Fathers and of modern great theologians, all the creeds, catechisms, council decisions, and dogmas of human invention, are not sufficient to overthrow what Paul has established, even by his silence. This kind of evidence is often strong, irresistible, conclusive, and sometimes the only evidence that can be obtained in reference to the

establishment of negatives. For instance, what evidence is there, what can there be, to prove that Washington had no son, but the silence of history, the total absence of all evidence of the affirmative ? Besides, the case under consideration is much stronger than the one put, or any that can be suggested in human affairs; because there is not only a want of proof, that the Son of God is God, but it is impossible that it can be proved. It is impossible that the Almighty himself can prove, that his own Son is himself, that he is not his own Son. It is impossible for him to prove, that he, the essentially unchangeable, infinite Spirit, ever was, or could become, man, or any material being; unless he can change his immutable nature and attributes. Whereas in the case put of Washington, it was not only possible, put an event probable and to be expected, that he should have had a son. It is not so, in respect to the Deity of the Son of God. That is something, that was never expected, never probable, never possible. But we are not obliged to rely entirely upon this kind of evidence; for the Epistles are full of direct, express evidence to the point, some of which I have quoted, and much more may be seen, if sought for. The whole tenor and substance of Paul's testimony appears to me to be, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God the Father, the Messiah, anointed and sent by God into the world, for the redemption of lost men

that he lived a perfect life, in “ a body prepared for him” that he performed great miracles -- that he suffered and died, was raised from the

dead, received

up

into heaven, and seated at the right hand of God the Father — that he was not very God, or the supreme, self-existent God, but was the Only Son of God, entirely dependent upon God, his Father, for his existence and support; for Paul says, expressly,” he liveth, by the power of God.” Therefore, without now being more particular, upon a full view of the whole of Paul's testimony, we must adopt one of two courses. We must give up the doctrine of Christ's Supreme Deity, as unsupported; or we must sacrifice Paul, and reject his testimony entirely. For they cannot both stand together they are as different as light and darkness—they are as inconsistent as entity and nonentity — we cannot hold to both. Choose ye, therefore, which ye will retain. To me the choice seems to be as plain, as between God and Mammon. One is the inspiration, the word of God by his holy Apostle - the other is, I conceive, the erroneous fabrication of uninspired, though very good, men. I speak not thus plainly, to wound the feelings of any pious Christian. I would not willingly grieve the good spirit of any man living. But for the love of sacred truth, I have used, what some may call bold expressions, while I hope my heart is filled with sincere love to God, and to all his intelligent creatures.

If I am in an error, I pray that I may be converted therefrom

- if the truth is told, as it is in Jesus, I hope it will be kindly received, though it comes from a weak, unknown, but well-meaning layman. “Search the Scriptures daily, whether these things be so." Here,

for the present, I leave the testimony of the Apostle Paul, for the serious, solemn consideration of all Christians, of all who revere God and love the Lord Jesus Christ, of all who are devout inquirers after sacred truth, of all who prefer divine instruction to the systems of men.

CHAPTER VII.

SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.

SOME PASSAGES FROM

ST. JOHN CONSIDERED.

ALTHOUGH some may think that enough has been produced, sufficient has been said, upon the subject of the Deity of Christ, yet I feel disposed to examine all the most important passages upon this subject; as it

may be useful, and is delightful, to look at the harmony of the Scriptures, which is a strong proof of the truth, that the whole is the word of God, spoken by his different servants or messengers ; as the great Jewish temple, though fabricated by thousands of Solomon's workmen, yet was properly his temple. He was the cause and truly the builder thereof.

In 1 John v. 19, 20, we read, “ we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness. And we know, that the Son of God is come and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, ev in (it should be rendered through) his son Jesus Christ. This( or he, odrós) is the true God and eteral life.” If this translation were correct, when considered by itself alone, it would be some proof of the Deity of Christ; for if oùtós, this or he, is the relative of Son, or Christ, the last antecedent noun, (which is the

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