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the concentration of the Trinity in his single Person, can be evaded, is, either by denying the Trinity altogether, and affirm. ing his simple humanity, as is done by Unitarians; or, if a Trinity be acknowledged, by regarding the three subjects of it, the three Divine Persons, as they are commonly called, as three distinct Gods. The writer whom I here follow, with all the numerous class of whom he is the legitimate representative, sometimes, to avoid the acknowledgement of the Lord's Sole Divinity, argues like those who assert his mere humanity; and it is perfectly evident, that, with all his suffragans, he views the Lord's Humanity as not essentially differing from that of an ordinary man. He allows him however, to be a Divine Being, as well ; but, as God, he denies him to be the same God as either the Father or the Holy Ghost. He openly avows in everything but the name, the doctrine of Tritheism; and his observations are such as clearly evince, that this is the only reiuge which remains open to those, who, asserting a Trinity, insist that it is a Trinity of separate Persons, and deny that it is centered in the single Person of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The avowal of Tritheism is most plainly made by this OPP0nent, in his endeavors to elude the force of the three texts, on which, as he represents the matter, our doctrine of the Sole Divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ is founded. The true meaning of these texts, therefore, shall be vindicated, and the Tritheism of those who resort to such attempts to evade their testimony, established in the present part of this SECTION.

- The Baron's Creed,” says this objector* “allows of a Trinity in the Godhead, and the following is the scheme of it: Jesus Christ is God, and beside him there is no other ; the Spirit within him is the Father ; his body is the Son; and the operations and actions proceeding from both constitute the Holy Ghost." And he immediately calls this, without excepting any part of it, an “anti-scriptural doctrine.” Let this be looked at for a moment. Our doctrine, as here stated, affirms that "Jesus Christ is God, and beside him there is no other.The objec. tor declares, that this is an anti-scriptural doctrine.Conse. quently, this opponent believes, either, that Jesus Christ is not God at all, or that there is another God beside him.

But we find he does not mean to deny Jesus Christ to be God at all: consequently, his belief is, that there is another God (if not two) beside Jesus Christ. I should not have pressed this conclusion from his words, had he not repeated the sentiment. I should have concluded that he had merely made a slip of the pen, in seeming to assert that there are other Gods beside Jesus Chris:. But that such is really bis opinion, whether he meant so penly

* Anti-Swedenborg, page 10.

to avow it or not, is evinced by the whole of his subsequent reasoning, as will presently appear.

“The Swedenborgians (he says)* support their doctrine of the Person of Christ being the entire Godhead on the followScriptures chiefly : I and my Father are one." (John x. 30). 6. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.(John xiv. 9). For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. (Col. ii. 9.)”

Our doctrine is here incorrectly stated, and the proofs on which we rest it are injuriously contracted. Our doctrine does not affirm “ the Person of Christ to be the entire Godhead," but to be one of the three Constituent Elements of the Godhead ; and our Scripture proofs of our doctrine in general, are extremely numerous indeed, as is evident from the sample in Part I. of this SECTION. The above three, however, are too clear to be evaded; and we shall presently see how impossible it is to explain them into an agreement with the doctrine, that “there are other Gods beside Jesus Christ."

For guiding the decision, the objector lays down a canon which is a very just one; but let the reader judge whether his conclusion from it, or ours, agrees with it best. He states the canon thus: “It is a rule of criticism among divines, that Scripture is a key to Scripture ; and that wherever one part of Scripture appears to contradict another, then the analogy of the whole Bible, and unbiased reason, must determine which of the seeming contradiction ought to give way." His inference is this : “ Wherefore the Scriptures which make Jesus Christ the Son of God, and a distinct Person from God, the Father, being very numerous, and unequivocally expressed, must in all fair construction determine the above cited texts to bear a very different construction to that which Baron Swedenborg puts upon them.”+ I beg to repeat the rule, with an inference more in harmony with its premises. “It is a rule of criticism among divines, that Scripture is a key to Scripture ; and that wherever one part of Scripture appears to contradict another, the analogy of the whole Bible, and unbiased reason, must determine which of the contradictions ought to give way." Wherefore, the Scriptures which declare the strict unity of God being very numerous, and unequivocally expressed, must in all fair construction determine those passages which speak of a distinction between the Father and the Son not to mean such a distinction as destroys the great doctrine of the Divine Unity, consequently, not a distinction of persons ; thus they must determine the above cited texts to mean what they plainly say, and to bear a very different construction from that which a Thritheist would put

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I. To deduce such forced construction this writer says* respecting the text, “ I and my Father are one ;' “ This text is made by the Baron to signify, that. I and my Father are one person ;' whereas the very grammatical form of the words is against such a construction. For we find I, which is one person, and then my father, which is another person; and these are coupled together by the plural verb are; but upon the Swedenborgian scheme our Saviour ought to have said, “ I and my Father am one."" Very peculiar notions of grammar are here propounded. Every one knows that the soul is not the same thing as the body; nay, as, while we are in the body, we have no consciousness of anything that passes, properly speaking, in our soul, but only of what affects our body and the region of our mind which is in contiguity with the body, we are constantly apt to identify the body with ourselves, and to regard the soul as something distinct from ourselves; and though we know that the case is actually the reverse, we still speak according to the appearance, as it presents itself to our senses. one uses such phrases as these : “ When I die;". My friend is dead ;” - “ It is appointed to all men once to die;" although he well knows that the soul, which is truly the man, never dies, but only the body. Suppose then any one, in this familiar sort of phraseology, were desirous of expressing the fact, that the soul and body, while in union, make but one person, would he say, according to the proposed system of grammar, “ I and my soul am one.

." Would the proposer himself talk so ridiculously? Would he or any one think, that by saying, “ I and my soul are one.” he was affirming the monstrous absurdity, that his soul and body are two separate persons ? Does then the use, according to the regular grammatical construction, of the plural verb are, afford, even a shadow of a pretence for contradicting the explicit assertion which the Lord here makes, and for af. firming that when he says, “ I and my Father are One," we are to understand him as saying, “ I and my Father are Two ?" Such a declaration, also could have given no offence to his hearers; whereas no sooner were the words, “ I and my

Father are One,” out of his mouth, then, as we are informed in the next verse,

“ the Jews took up stones to stone him ;” and affirm. edt that they did this “for blasphemy; because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God." The Jews, certainly, had no idea of more Gods than one. When, therefore, they understood, by the Lord's affirming his oneness with the Father, that he affirmed himself to be God, they understood that he affirm. ed himself to be the one and only God. It will require, then, something more than a grammatical or ungrammatical quibble, * Pp. 11 12

f Verse 33.

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to evince that, in this plair declaration of the Lord, explained by this conclusive comment of his hearers, we are to understand him as meaning, that himself and the Father are iwo. When the Jews said on hearing it, “ Thou being a man, makest thyself God,” they clearly testified, that he affirmed himself and the Father to be One Being, One Person, One God.

“ Here (adds the objector*) it will be proper to state the gloss which the learned Divines give upon the words before us, and which, I think, cannot be much mended; “I and

my

Father are one in will, one in purpose, one in design, one in love, grace, and good will to all mankind : and all our operations tend to one and the same end, truth, righteousness, and goodness. This construction, he affirms, is supported by that text in which Jesus Christ says, “ Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are ;"+ and he afterwardst argues in the same manner from the texts which speak of a union between the saints and God. I once read a celebrated Unitarian work, intended to explain away the force of the texts which assert the Lord's Divinity, for which, if a descriptive title had been sought, I thought it ought to have borne the following; The rhetorical figure called Meiosis or Extenuation, applied to the interpretation of Sacred Writ: or, The art of extracting from the mountain of Scripture Truth, the mouse of Unitarian Doctrine.” Certain it is that we are here presented with a specimen of that art, and that it is from “ learned divines” of that school that the present extenuator borrowed his “ gloss." Let, then, a learned divine of the school which he more generally follows here give the answer. In Doddridge's note on the Lord's words, "I and my Father are One,” is this remark : “ How widely different that sense is in which Christians are said to be one with God (John xvii. 21), will sufficiently appear, by considering how flagrantly absurd and blasphemous it would be to draw that inference from their union with God which Christ does from his :” that inference is, that, in power, also, he is one with the Father; which the extenuating “gloss" keeps out of sight.

But in the view taken by the opponent of the union of the disciples with each other and with their Divine Head, he total. ly reverses the order of things. The Lord never speaks of himself and the Father being one as the disciples are one ; but in the ardor of his divine love, he desires that his disciples may be one, as himself and the Father are one. The union of himself and the Father is the prototype, that of the disciples with

† John xvii. 11.

I P. 19.

* P. 12.

each other and with their Divine Head is the copy; and who will pretend that, in anything whatever, man can be more than a most distant and imperfect copy of God! If the union of Christians with each other and with the Lord, is of the same kind and degree as that of the Lord and his Father, because Jesus desires “ that they may be one as we are,” then also the righteousness of Christians is of the same kind and degree as that of their Heavenly Father, because he commands, " Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect.* Upon such a mode of interpreting the language of Scripture, the perfection of a good Christian, according to this text, is as great as that of God; or to express the subject more according to our opponent's mode of reasoning, the perfection of God is no greater than that of a good Christian. "He must either affirm this, or admit that John xvii. 11, and the similar texts do not prove the point for which he quotes them. If the highest perfection of which men can be the subjects, is only a faint image of the ineffable perfection of the Divine Nature; then the closest union of which men can be the subjects, is only a faint image of the union of the first two Essentials of the Divine Nature. Again, to argue, because the union among the Lord's true disciples is an image of the union between the Father and the Son, or the Divine and Divine-Human Natures in the Lord, that therefore the union between the Lord's true disciples is equally close with that between the Father and the Son, is just as conclusive, as to argue, because man was created in the image of God, that therefore he was created equal with God. Precisely the same difference as that between God, and man as an image of God, is that between the union of the Lord's disciples, and the union of the Father and the Son.

If, then, this argument proves so void of solidity, what its author adds to it will not help to strengthen it, but only to expose, still more unreservedly, the polytheism of his sentiments. * This subject,” he ventures to say,+ " may be further illustrated by a mercantile firm, which may consist of three, four, or more individuals. Of these it may be said, and often is said, that they are all one ; because they are one in purse, one in gains, one in losses, one in their hopes and fears and one in all their mercantile interests. But they are not one person."

No, assuredly. Neither are they one man. In offering, then this similitude as an illustration of the Trinity, our opponent confesses, tbat, in his idea, the Father, Son, and Spirit are not only not one person, but they are not one God. As having entered into a kind of partnership for man's salvation, “ it may be said, and often is said, that they are all one ;" but by those who un* Matt. v. 48.

† P. 13.

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