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warn thee, Christian, not to ascribe thy crimes to the influence of an infinitely malignant, irresistible, omnipotent being, because we tell thee no such being exists in the universe.” (Vol. i, p. 102.) And we say more than Mr. G. will care to say; viz., that mankind may overcome “ that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world,” but only “ by the blood of the Lamb.”
“ Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people, and hath raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David, as he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began; that we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us; to perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he sware to our father Abraham, that he would grant unto us, that we, being delivered out of the hands of our enemies, might serve him without fear, in holiness and righteous. ness before him, all the days of our life.”
Of the Unity of God. The first chapter of this work will serve to show how little dependence is to be placed on the deductions of hu. man reason, unaided by divine revelation. Mr. Go's arguments on the divine unity amply confirm those which have been there adduced. Through every paragraph of his lecture on that subject, while he professes to deduce his doctrine from the light of nature, he either takes for granted the thing to be proved, or borrows his doctrine from the Scriptures, and sometimes he does both at once. An examination of his ridiculous reasonings will, however, answer no purpose, since we are ready to grant what he contends for that there is but one God. But we place this great truth on the ground of revelation only. The following passages may suffice to demonstrate it : “ Thou shalt have no other gods before me,” Exod.
“ The Lord he is God, there is none else beside bim." “ The Lord, he is God in heaven above, and upon
the earth beneath ; and there is none else,” Deut. iv, 35, 39. " Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no god ; I
l know not any. They that make a graven image are all of them vanity.” “ Before me there was no god formed, neither shall there be after me. I, even I, am the Lord; and beside me there is no Saviour. I have saved, and I have showed, when there was no strange god among you," Isa. xliv, 8, 10–12. “ The Lord thy God is one Lord,” Deut. vi, 4.
Such are the declarations of Scripture that there is but one God. The candid reader will observe, however, that these testimonies uniformly go to evince the oneness of God in contradistinction from the plurality of the gods of the heathen. But the metaphysical unity of God, a unity which excludes the possibility of any kind of distinction in the divine nature, is not in any of them, or in any
other part of the sacred books, asserted.
As we do not look into the book of nature for the proof of the divine unity, we do not expect to learn from thence the doctrine of the trinity. We confess to Mr. G. that we have no “ plea from reason for the supposition that one must direct, a second execute, and a third influence.” (Lect. vol. i, p. 11.) All that we know of God, we know only from his own revelation; and from that very source from whence we learn that God is one, we learn also that God is three; one in one sense, three in another, not incompatible with the first. While therefore we agree with Mr. G. in that grand proposition that there is one God, we differ from his metaphysical doctrine of divine unity. Thinking that he perfectly comprehends that unity, and that, without the aid of revelation from which, in point of fact, he has learned it, he can argue conclusively upon it, he accordingly sets himself to the metaphysical task. We are aware that we do not perfectly apprehend the metaphysical ideas of spirit and its unity ; and as we cannot be sure that we reason conclusively on a proposition which we do not distinctly and perfectly apprehend, like children under the instruction of a teacher, we submit ourselves to the direction of our infallible guide, and learn the doctrine of the trinity from the same source from whence we have learned the divine unity. It is from thence we gather that the one God is the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit.
It is enough, in this place, to state that our Lord, in giving a commission to his disciples, commanded them, “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” Matt. xxviii, 19.
The baptism of Christian believers is an ordinance obviously designed to initiate them into the church of Christ, and intended, like circumcision, as a dedication of their persons to God. It implies on the part of the person baptized that he take the Christian God for his God, and that he devote himself to that God as his servant; and thus that he enter into covenant with him.
When the apostles of Christ baptized the Jews, who, dedicated to Jehovah by Jewish baptism and circumcision, had already been initiated into the church of God, and had received from the Old Testament “ the promise of the Father,” viz., the promise of the gift of his Holy Spirit, they baptized them in the name of Jesus. In vain, there. fore, does Mr. G. cite the cases of Cornelius and of the believers at Ephesus to prove that the apostles did not baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, but in the name of Jesus ; for Cornelius was probably a Jewish proselyte, (Acts x, 22,) and the Ephesians had already been baptized “unto John's baptism,” Acts xix, 3. The commission which our Lord gave to his apostles was “to all nations," i. e., to the Gentiles, to whom the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit had been equally unknown. These were to be baptized according to the commission which Jesus Christ had given; and the apostles undoubtedly observed the charge which had been committed to them.
This form of baptism was connected with the first in. structions which the Gentile converts were to receive, and therefore implies the doctrine which they were to learn. That they whom the apostles had called from the worship of idols to the worship of the one God who made heaven and earth, should, by a religious act, a reception of the seal of the covenant of grace, be dedicated to any being less than God, would, the Socinians being judges, have been only a change from one form of idolatry to another. But this was not the case. They were baptized not in the names, but in the one name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; from which we infer that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are the one God to whom we are to be devoted, and on whom all our Christian hopes are to be fixed.
CHAPTER V. Of the Pre-existence and Divinity of Jesus Christ. That Jesus Christ was truly and properly a man, and that the doctrine of his proper humanity may be traced through all the New Testament, is undeniable. The So. cinians invariably take advantage of this truth, and argue from it that he is a mere man. This in a controversy with Trinitarians is flatly begging the question, which is not, Is Jesus Christ a man? but, Is he a man only? That he is a man, we grant; but we contend that he is also more than man: that he is the one eternal God.
To separate the question of his proper divinity from the doctrine of his humanity, let it first be understood that, according to the uniform testimony of Scripture, he had an existence previous to his incarnation. Such a pre-existent state Mr. G. positively denies, and daringly asserts that “we nowhere meet with any express decla. ration of it.” (Lect. vol. I, p. 455.) With what degree of truth this assertion is made, the following citations will show:
1. “ He was made flesh," John i, 14. " As the chil. dren are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same.' “For verily he took not on (him) the nature of angels; but he took on (him) the seed of Abraham,” Heb. ii, 14, 16. These expressions involve the idea that there was a pre-existent something which was made flesh, and which took part of human nature.
2. Jesus Christ says, that "he came down from hea. ven,” that “he came from above,” John iii, 13, 31; “ that he was come from God, and went to God,” John xiii, 3; that he “came forth from the Father, and came into the world, and would leave the world and go to the Father," John xvi, 28. He is therefore said to be not “ of the earth, earthy," but the Lord from heaven," 1 Cor. xv, 47.
Mr. G., with all his efforts, has not been able to invali. date this evidence. (Vol. i, p. 342.). John the Baptist was a man "sent from God” to men, (as he observes,) but he was not sent from heaven to earth. What Jesus Christ asserts of himself he denies of all others : “No man hath ascended up to heaven but he that came down from hea. ven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.” And John conceded to Jesus his exclusive claim : • He that cometh from above (said he) is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth,” John iii, 13, 31. The baptism of John is said to be from heaven, because he baptized by divine authority ; but it is nowhere said that John came down from heaven. Again : the coming of Jesus Christ from heaven is compared with his return thither. To this Mr. G. objects, “ If our Sa. viour, by descending from heaven, literally meant a personal descent, by ascending into heaven he meant a personal ascent; and, by being in heaven, he meant a personal presence there, at the same time that he was talking with Nicodemus upon earth.” (Vol, i, p. 343.) This argument, by which Mr. G., if he mean to prove any thing, endeavours to prove that our Lord contradicted himself, is the very argument by which one would prove the doctrine in question. The pre-existent and divine nature of Jesus Christ solves the difficulty which he has imagined, and unties the knot which he finds it more convenient to cut.
3. When Jesus Christ came into the world, he came “ voluntarily." " When he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me. Lo, I come to do thy will, O God,” Heb. x, 5–7. This proves that he existed before he came into the world, and before he took on him the body prepared for him, and that he took on him that body with his own previous consent.
4. Jesus Christ prayed, “ And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was,” John xvii, 5. Here Mr. G. has two strings to his bow. (1.) He cites, by way of contrast, the following passages : The Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” 6. Who hath saved usaccording to his own purpose and grace which was given