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his followers that they also should be raised from the grave, and as an assurance to all men that he has appointed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness by him ; and that God exalted him to great dignity and power, which power, during the age of the Apostles, was miraculously employed in diffusing the privileges and blessings of the Gospel.-In this statement I use the word man in the strict and usual sense, that in wbich I believe the Apostles also used it, vix. as denoting one who was, properly speaking, a human being, having no existence before his human birth.

The one great end and purpose of the work and sufferings, the miracles and resurrection of our Saviour, I believe to have been, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.* To accomplish this great end, three most important subordinate ends, or means, were accomplished; the mercy and forgiveness of God were assured to repentant sinners,t a state of retribution was revealed, I and the terms of pardon and everlasting happiness declared. I

Titus ii, 14.

+ Luke xxiv. 47, 1 2 Tim. i. 10. John v. 28, 29.

Š This view of the subject corresponds greatly with the sentiments of Dr. Priestley, as given in the Theological Repository, vol. i. p. 423, &c. The reader may see the passages quoted at large, in my Examination of Bishop (now Archbishop) Magee's Charges, p. 148–150. Dr. Priestley speaks of it as one great object of revelation, “ to give us the most satisfactory assurance of the " pardon of our past sins upon our repentance and reformation, of " the certain acceptance of our sincere though imperfect endea

do not think that the Scriptures teach any end of the mission and death of our Saviour, which is not included in these, or at least subservient to them. The essential importance of the sufferings and death of Christ, in the Gospel-scheme of redemption, arises entirely, in my apprehension, from their being necessary means to the accomplishment of one or more of those ends, though as far as respects our Saviour himself perfectly voluntary. It would be presumptuous in an erring mortal to say, that the Supreme Being could not have appointed some other means of effecting these purposes,--that he could not have set forth another mercy-seat, or that what he did set forth must have been sprinkled with blood ;* but as we know from the event, that these means were appointed by God, and can perceive from the circumstances of the case that, in those circumstances, the assurance and extension of the blessings of the Gospel covenant required the sufferings and death of Jesus, there can be no hesitation in saying, that the sufferings and death of Jesus were necessary in order to fulfil the gracious purposes for which he came, and that therefore his death was a necessary sacrifice for the redemption of mankind, that is, for their deliverance from the power of sin and death.f This I believe to be the amount of the Gospel doctrine on this sub

“ vours to do our duty, and of all necessary assistance in the practice « of it."

* Rom. iii. 25. + See this point more fully considered in Chap. VIII,

ject: and therefore, if any other supposed ends of the work and death of our Saviour be con)sidered as the purpose of them,—such, for instance, as that he suffered and died in our stead in order to satisfy the justice of God, that his death propitiated or reconciled God to man, that his righteousness is imputed to us, &c.,—without inquiring whether or not these things are inconsistent with the known attributes of that great Being whom the risen Jesus styles his Father and our Father, his God and our God, I feel no hesitation in asserting that they are not Christian doctrine.

There are several opinions respecting the nature or the death of Jesus Christ, which are all in direct opposition to Unitarian tenets on these points, and which the Unitarian must satisfy himself were not taught immediately or mediately by the Son of God, or he must doubt the truth of his own tenets, if not reject them altogether from the rank of Christian doctrine. And it is besause these opinions are so widely prevalent, and so strengthened by unchristian sanctions, (such as the supposed necessity of them to a participation in Gospel blessings, and the real necessity of them to a participation in many worldly advantages,) that Unitarianism is not readily and extensively embraced as the doctrine of the Scriptures. From the account of Luke in his invaluable narrative, it appears

John xx, 17.

next to certain, that the first teachers of the Gospel, proposed for the belief of their converts nothing but Unitarianism ;* and that consequently in the age of the Apostles it was easy to be a Unitárián, in so far as it was easy to become a Christian where there were no prejudices of Judaism, of Gentile philosophy, or of vice, to interfere. At present, as must be obvious to every one, it is not easy for a person to become a Unitarian; and I think the reason is, because men are not left to the simple teachings of the Scriptures. If a person seems likely to adopt Unitarian tenets, one informs him that they are totally inconsistent with the plain and obvious sense of the Scriptures'; another, that it is impossible for a Unitarian to acquire true holiness of heart; a third, that the Unitarians deny the Lord that bought them; and a fourth, (joining in the dreadful denunciations of the Athanasian Creed, and expressing what the two latter only imply,) affirms, that they who reject the divinity of the Saviour, will without doubt perish everlastingly.* It requires strong nerves, or strong convictions, for persons to withstand the influence of such assertions, before they are accustomed to consider their amount and authority. For myself, when I examine Acts x. 33-44, I feel convinced that I possess all the essentials of Christianity,t and that as far as faith is concerned I need not fear the disapprobation of my Judge; and the more I examine the Scriptures at large, the more satisfied I feel, that the convictions which I derived from a close and serious attention to them, accord with the truth as it is in Jesus.

* I do not mean to say that the first teachers of the Gospel often laid stress upon our Lord's being truly and properly one of the human race; but their preachings directly imply this, and contain nothing inconsistent with it. If the doctrine of two 'natures in the person of Christ, and of his divinity and pre-existence, were as muoli unknown now as I believe that they were in the tinies of the Apostles, Unitarians would not be obliged to make the simple humanity of Jesus, a part of their Creed. The whole of their system, like that of the Apostles, would imply it; but they would seldom be led to speak of Jesus as a man only. It does not appear that the Apostles thought it necessary to assert that Jesus was really a man, (though they reasoned from the fact,) till the Gnostics and Doceta taught that he was a man in appearance only.

It is I believe sometimes asked, if the Uni. tarian doctrine be so simple, and so accordant with the Scriptures, as its advocates maintain, why are they obliged to labour so much in order

* I wish that these were all the obstacles that are thrown in the way of the inquirer; but too often an appeal is made to worldly interest and honour, or to the influence of affection and friendship: and by the fear of the sacrifices to be made, if Unitarianism should be openly embraced, the progress of inquiry is stopped. Many, too, are prevented from examining into the evidence of popular doctrines, by the apprehension that the whole system may be found untenable. They feel as Bishop Smalridge did, when he said, “ Mr. Whiston, I DARE NOT EXAMINE, I DARE NOT EXAMINE; for “ if we should examine, and find that you are in the right, the « Church has then been in an error so many hundred years." (See Whiston's Historical Memoirs of Dr. Samuel Clarke, p. 142.) Surely there must be something wrong in a system which directly opposes the injunctions of the Apostles of Christ, Prove all things,' and,' Try the spirits, whether they are of God.'

+ Cornelius says (0, 33,)' we are present before God, to lear all things which God hath commanded thee. After Peter's speech to them, in which there is not one word respecting the divinity and vicarious punishment of our Lord, the holy spirit fell upon them, and they were all baptized. Now is it conceivable tbat Peter should not have declared to these Gentile converts the essentials of Gospel faith?

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