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the language of Scripture is involved in mystery. and as it appears to me in contradiction. We learn* that he was in the desert forty days TEMPTED by Satan;' that when the devil had ended all the TEMPTATION, he departed from him for a season ;' from his language to his disciples, &c. in Gethsemane, we perceive that he then again experienced temptation ; and by the Writer to the Hebrews we are informed, that he was in ALL points TEMPTED like as we are, yet without sin.'

That profound submissive resignation to the will of God, which constitutes the commanding excellence of our Lord's character, (and which, according to the Writer to the Hebrews, ch. v. 8. he learnt by suffering,) seems to me a mere name, if he were by nature above the reach of sufferings, or of temptations to escape the painful duties assigned him. His ardent piety, his constant devotedness to the porposes of his father, must, indeed, taken even in the abstract, ever animate and delight the heart in which there is one spark of devotional feeling; but if he were truly and properly God, what becomes of the influence of his example in this important point of view? The moment the thought presented itself, that we were contemplating the piety of God, the resignation of God, the devotion of God, it must surely annihilate such iofluence, or at least involve the mind in

• Mark i. 13.

Luke xxii, 40, 46, 53.

Luke iv. 13.
5 C. ir. 15.

more than Egyptian darkness. Devotion, resignation, and obedience, as exhibited in the holy character of Jesus, are human excellencies; as manifested by him, they imply that he was as to nature in all points like his brethren; and if we suppose that he was not so, we may contemplate those excellencies as a model by which to mould our affections, we may be actuated by them as a motive, (since it is necessary for us to regulate our hearts by the spirit of Jesus): but that almost undefinable influence which arises from the perhaps indistinct consciousness that the example which we copy was an example of feelings, of affections, like our own in their purest forms, that the distresses of Jesus were such as we also should have felt in such circumstances, and his resignation, too, such as in our best moments has spread tranquillity over our own souls,

- this can have place only where the supposed divinity of our Lord's nature is unthought of, and the heart surrenders itself up to the contemplation of the MAN of Nazareth, as his character is so inimitably portrayed in the simple narratives of the Evangelists.

I should dwell on this topic with great pleasure, if my plan were less limited ; as it is, I must content myself with remarking, that similar ob. servatious might be made respecting the other peculiarly human virtues of our Saviour. We regard him as an admirable pattern of self-denial, of humility, of patience, of meekness, of fortitude, of prudence, &c.; but to me it appears, that the

influence of these virtues must be totally overcome by a present conviction that he was truly and properly God.

In one point of view, it may be thought that the advocates for a superior nature in our Lord have decidedly the advantage over us: 'He left,' they may say, 'a most glorious and happy state, and partook of human feelings and sufferings. Herein indeed was love.' When we examine somewhat more accurately, we shall find that the advantage is still decidedly in our favour. I suppose that no advocate for the proper deity of our Saviour will venture to maintain, that the divine nature partook of these sufferings; and if not, the being who had before existed in glory and happiness, underwent no suffering, and the man Christ Jesus must surely have received

support and a diminution of suffering from his union with the divine nature. If instead of this mysterious system of a two-fold nature, we suppose that the pre-existent being became man,-if he retained the consciousness of the past, and a clear prospect of the future, is it conceivable that this should not have most materially lessened his human sufferings, and annihilated distress of mind? Those whose minds have by long discipline and suffering, acquired that degree of comprehensiveness, which is attainable even in this present state, have been known to lose the present in the contemplation of the future; and is it conceivable that a more exalted being than man, should in this respect be less perfect ?-To the divine mind, the past and the future must be equally and for ever present;-could a being partaking of the essential attributes of divinity suffer at all?-If then the sufferings undergone by our Saviour be made the criterion of his love to men, our system has in this point, as in every other respecting his example, the most decided advantage. It was the Man Christ Jesus who suffered and died for us, and his sufferings as man could scarcely have been what from the Scriptures we suppose them to have been, if he were not simply a man, if he were supported by a union with a nature incapable of suffering, or were a being whose nature was greatly superior to that of man.

Feeling the firmest conviction that the proper unity and unrivalled supremacy of God, the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, is the doctrine of the Gospel,—and that it is a position fully authorized by the general tenor of the New Testament, and by express and decisive facts, that this illustrious Revealer of the gracious purposes of God to Men, was truly and properly a MAN, and as to nature no more,-unless clear and adequate evidence can be adduced that he was a Being of a superior nature, I consider myself as completely justified in asserting, that · Unitarianism is the doctrine of the Gospel.:- That the evidence which is adduced to overthrow the doctrines of the proper unity of God, and the proper or simple humanity of Jesus, is totally inadequate, I shall endeavour to show

in

the next Part.

PART II.

EXAMINATION OF THE EVIDENCE DERIVED FROM THE

NEW TESTAMENT, AGAINST THE UNITARIAN DOC

TRINE AS TO THE NATURE OF JESUS.

CHAP. IV.

Principles of Interpretation.

: I FEEL the hope that a careful perusal of the preceding chapters, will have enabled my readers to judge more correctly than they otherwise might, respecting the contents of this. Our interpretations of the controverted passages, are usually considered separately from the foundation of them; and it is partly owing to this circumstance that they are so often regarded, even by persons of great candour and judgment, as far-fetched and groundless. But the grand cause assuredly is, that attachment to pre-formed opinions, which necessarily arises from long regarding them, and reasoning from them, as true, and especially from the connexion existing in the mind, between them and others of indisputable truth and supreme importance. I by no means intend to affirm, that there are no instances in

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