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with the Trinitarian, to portion it out between three separate Persons. We take all that is true in the system of each, separated from all that is false. The doctrine of the Tri-personality was first invented, because those who framed it saw no other means of preserving some acknowledgment of the Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ: and we agree with them, that this acknowledgment is indispensable, in order that any true Church may exist. The doctrine of Unitarianism has been introduced, because they who framed it saw no other way preserve
inviolate the perfect unity of the Godhead : and we agree again with them, that where this is in any degree departed from, no true church can exist. Both these mischiefs are completely avoided in the doctrines of the New Church, as drawn from the Scriptures in the writings of Swedenborg. May I not then appeal to the candid and reflecting, of all Denominations, and ask, whether such a system of Doctrine ought not to be looked at by all with respect; whether it might not be reasonably concluded, that it would excite violent hostility in none, but would be accepted by multitudes of sincere Christians with thankfulness and eagerness ?
That it is entitled to such acceptance, because it not only proposes what is obviously desirable, but establishes what is certainly true, we will endeavor in some degree to evince.
I. We will state, in the first place, what the True Doctrine, as advanced in the writings of Swedenborg, is. All parties will admit, that the unity of God is a doctrine mos: perpetually insisted upon by Scripture, and constantly held forth as the fundamental idea on which all true religion is erected. It must also be acknowledged, that, though the word Trinity does not occur in Scripture, we repeatedly find the idea properly intended by that term; since we everywhere read, in the New Testament, of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, as equally concerned in the great work of man's salvation. It is no less unquestionable, that there are a great many passages, likewise, which ascribe Divinity to the Lord Jesus Christ: for even the deniers of his divinity admit this, though, not knowing how to reconcile this doctrine with that of the unity, they endeavor to explain away their force. On the admission, then, that these three doctrines are explicitly affirmed in Scripture so affirmed that they naturally result from the sense of the words themselves; how are they to be combined into one coherent sentiment ? The fundamental doctrine of the Divine Unity implies, that the doctrine of the Divine Trinity must not be so strained as to be set at variance therewith, as is done when the Trinity is understood to be a trinity of separate persons, in the usual acceptation of that term. It must then be n trinity of Essential Principles, of Constituent Elements (so to
speak, for want of better terms), forming together One Person. And if the Divinity of Jesus Christ is also certain, - thus if he is God at all, and yet God is but one, — who can he be but that One Person? In him, as he decidedly declares, the Father dwelleth : “the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works :'
he must then be the Person of the Father. From him, or out of him, from the Father within him, as he also declares, the Holy Ghost proceedeth : “ the comforter, whom I will send unto you from the Father :"+ to represent, also, his sending of which, “ he breathed on them, and said unto them Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”! Does it not then appear, that, properly, the Father is the Divine Essence; the Son, the Manifestation of that Essence in a Personal Form; and the Holy Spirit, the Sanctifying Energy and Influence — the Divine Life — thence proceeding to operate the graces of salvation in the human mind?
II. This is a general view of the Doctrine of the New Church upon this subject: we will adduce a little more of the Scripture Evidence by which its truth is established.
As to the Unity of the Divine Being, on this, the Sacred Scriptures constantly insist in the most positive language, and never hint at his dwelling in any more persons than one. In the Decalogue, given with such awful solemnity from Mount Sinai as a Summary of all religion, the Divine Legislator declares, as a necessary preliminary to the whole, “ Thou shalt have no other gods before ME.”|| And in that sublime condensation of the sustance of the whole law, given by Moses in Deuteronomy, and repeated by Jesus in the Gospel, the duty of love to God is prefaced by this strict declaration of his unity: “ Hear, O Isreal, the Lord our God is ONE Lord.” Amongst many other
express declarations of the Divine Unity in the Sacred Scriptures, it will be sufficient to mention the following: “There is none good but one, that is, God.”** Father which is in heaven.”++ 66 There is none other God but ONE.”#1 - God is ONE."'$ $ « There is ONE God, and there is none other but He.”'TIT Thou art the God, even thou ALONE, of all the kingdoms of the earth.”*** “ I, even I, am He, and * John xvi. 10. † Ch. xv. 26; ch. xvi. 7.
I Ch. xx. 22. § I take this evidence as collected in a tract entitled, The True Object of Christian Worship Demonstrated, and the Doctrine of the Divine Trinity Eluci dated, &c.; which was formed from a Lecture delivered by me. In the first edis tion of this work, I only made references to the evidence there collected; but on so important a subject, the chief points of it should, certainly be placed be. fore the reader. || Exod. xx. 3. | Deut. vi. 4; Mark xii. 29. ** Matt. xix. 17. ft Ch. Xxiji. 9. 1 1 Cor. viii. 4.
$$ Gal. iii. 20. TT Mark xii. 32.
*** 2 Kings xix. 15.
66 One is your
there is no GOD WITH ME."* I am JEHOVAH,t and there is NONE ELSE.”I “ In that day JEHOVAH shall be King over ali the earth: in that day there shall be ONE JEHOVAH, and his name one.”'S.
Nothing in short can be more certainly established by Scripture than the doctrine of the unity of God; nor can there be any doctrine in which reason more thoroughly concurs; and reason, if not capable of discovering divine truths of itself, is yet given to enable us to apprehend them when revealed. Who, then, is the one God, so solemnly presented to the adoration of Christians ? The term “God” is the name by which in the present day, the Divine Being is usually designated : but when this sacred name is mentioned, who is the Being that it brings before the mind ? Is there one person in a hundred in whose mind an idea is awakened by it, of the Lord Jesus Christ ? If not, this is a plain proof, that, however exalted a Being some may conceive him to be, they do not fully assent to the belief of his Divinity.
Again, then, let us turn to the Scriptures; and here we shall find, that the texts which affirm the unity of God, are not more decisive, than those which assert the Divinity of Jesus Christ.
In what terms does Isaiah announce his birth? child is born, unto us a son is given : and the government shall be upon His shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Councillor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”|| John begins his gospel with declaring, that, " in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God;" and this Word he presently informs us, was what “was made flesh.” How does this same Divine Being announce himself, after his glorification or complete union with the Father, to this same apostle in his vision in the isle of Patmos? “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the Ending, saith the Lord, who is, and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Here he assumes to himself the most absolute and incommunicable names and attributes of De
66 Unto us a
* Deut. xxxii. 39. † It is to be observed, that, in the English Bible, the term LORD is almost always used instead of the magnificent name expressive of underived Being, JEHOVAH; and the danger of confounding this name with another, which properly signifies Lord, is only guarded against by printing the word Lord in capital letters where it is JEHOVAH in the original. As, however, the name JEHOVAH can be applied to none but the Infinite Deity, whereas the term Lord is applicable also to inferior governors, the former is preserved in the passages above quoted. Isa. xlv. 6. Ś Zech. xiv. 9.
|| Isa. ix. b. Rev. i. 8.
ity, thus verifying the truth of the saying of the apostle Paul, that “ being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God ;'* on which it may be observed, that if he was in the form of God, and equal with God, it is evident that he could be no other than God himself; since God can have no form but his own form, and no equal but himself. In short, pages might be filled, yea, whole books, with plain proofs from Scripture of the Divinity of the Lord.
Now, if it is an undeniable truth, in the first place, that God is one; and if it is equally certain, in the second, that Jesus Christ is God; a child may draw the conclusion, that He is God ALONE. The two propositions cannot be connected in any other
But plain as the conclusion is, lest man should fail to arrive at it, God, in his Word has drawn it for him.
The Lord Jesus Christ has always been acknowledged as the Bridegroom and Husband of his Church, and the Redeemer of his people, but the prophet Isaiah, (or rather the Lord by him), addressing the Church, proclaims, “ Thy Maker is thy Husband, JEHOVAH OF Hosts is his name; and thy Re. deemer is the Holy ONE OF ISRAEL: the GOD OF THE WHOLE Earth shall he be called."'ll So in Jeremiahs and Hosea, ** this distinguishing character of Jesus Christ, that of being the Husband of his Church, is assumed by Jehovah: whence it is plain that the Redeemer, Jesus, is the great Jehovah, the Maker and God of all the earth.
Many other passages, testifying the glorious fact, that the Creator and Redeemer are the same Divine Person, and, of course, that he in whom both characters are united is the only God, may be adduced from the prophets.
Thus Jehovah says again by Isaiah, 66 There is no God else beside me : a just God and a SAVIOUR, there is none beside me. Look unto me and be ye saved all the ends of the earth, for I am God and there is none else.”++ Again : 66 Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his REDEEMER, JEHOVAH of Hosts: I am the First and I am the Last, and beside Me, there is no God.”I1 “I am JEHOVAH, thy God, the Holy One of Israel,
* Philipp. ii. 6. | See, for instance, Hindmarsh's Seal on the Lips of all who deny the Swo preme Divinity of Jesus Christ, in which this truth is demonstrated by the evidence of 144 passages selected from the gospels and the Revelation alone.
† Matt. ix. 15; xxv. 1, 5, 6; John iii. 29; Rev. xix. 7; xxi. 2, 9; 2 Cor. xi. 2.
§ See Luke xxiv. 21 ; Gal. iii. 13; 1 Peter i. 18; Rev. v. 9; Eph. i. 7; Hob. ix. 12. | Isa. liv.'5.
Chap. xxxi. 32. ** Chap. ii. 2, 7, 18. if Isa. xlv. 21, 22.
11 Isa. xliv. 6.
6. I, even
I am Jehovah, and beside me there is no SAVIOUR.”+ “ Verily thou art a God that hidest thyself. O God of Israel, the Saviour.”| The God of Israel is here called a God that hideth himself, in reference to his veiling over his infinite Glory with Humanity. “ All flesh shall know that I, Jehovah am thy Saviour and thy REDEEMER, the Mighty One of Jacob."'S - Thou shalt know that I, JEHOVAH, am thy SAVIOUR, and thy REDEEMER, the Mighty One of Jacob.”|| “I will help thee, saith JEHOVAH and thy REDEEMER, the Holy One of Israel." 6. Thus saith JEHOVAH your REDEEMER, the Holy One of Israel."'**
“ Thus saith JEHOVAH, thy REDEEMEr, and he that formed thee from the womb; I am JEHOVAH that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself.”++ " Thus saith JEHO. VAH, thy REDEEMER, the Holy One of Israel; I am Jehovah thy God.”1 “ As for our REDEEMER, JEHOVAH OF Hosts is his Name, the Holy One of Israel."'S$ “ Thus saith JEHOVAH, , the REDEEMER of Israel, and his Holy One.”Illi
66 With everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith JEHOVAI, thy REDEEMER.” 1 “ Thou, O JEHOVAH, art our Father, our REDEEMER, thy name is from everlasting. 66 Their REDEEMER, is strong, JEHOVAH of Hosts is his name.”+++ 6 I am JEHOVAH, thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt know no God but Me, for there is no Saviour beside ME.”11
As observed above, when the name of God is mentioned, but jew apply it in their thoughts to the Lord Jesus Christ, who, nevertheless, is “the true God and eternal life." $f so, on the other hand, when the names Redeemer and Saviour occur, they are seldom considered as belonging to the Infinite Jehovah, but are applied, in idea, to Jesus Christ alone, as a distinct person from Jehovah. That these names properly belong to Je. sus Christ, is most certainly true ;|||||| but that they belong as properly to Jehovah also, the passages above quoted most decidedly demonstrate ; either then Jehovah and Jesus must be one and the same Divine Person, or there must be two distinct Saviours and Redeemers. This supposition is too absurd to be entertained by any one, and is also positively contradicted by Ho
* Isa. xliii. 3.
† Verse 11.
I Ch. xiv. 15.
Ch. xli. 14.
Il Ch. xlix. 7. T1 Ch. liv. 8.
$$$ 1 John v. 20. ! Matt. i. 21; Luke ii. 11; John iv. 42 ; Phillp. iii. 20; 1 Tim. i. 15; 2 Tim. i. 10; Titus i. 3, 4; ii. 13; iii. 6 • 2 Peter i. 1, 11; ii. 20; iii. 2, 18; 1 John iv. 14.