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that Christ regarded himself as one with God; or, that he wilfully deceived the people ; either he was God manifest in the flesh; or, he was justly put to death-died justly as a blasphemer and an impostor !
To invalidate this conclusion, we know it may be said, that if truly divine, Christ might have given indisputable and resistless evidences of his divinity; but the answer is at hand, and in the words of Inspiration : " Had the princes of this world known, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory." Had they known, it could not have been by our Saviour's indirect intimations, or by any verbal assertions : nothing short of some real exhibition of that majesty and power which essentially belong to Deity could have convinced their minds; and thus by restraining the Jews from putting him to death, he would have precluded the object of his incarnation-" to take away sin by the sacrifice of him. self."
What more is needed to the conclusion of our arguinent ? Will it be said, there is no evidence that he did not die a blasphemer? Look a little beyond the period of his death. In the face of his accusation and condemnation as a blasphemer, on the third day he rose from the dead! By what possible means, can conviction be forced on us, if we do not see in the fact of Christ's resurrection, the highest degree of evidence, that he had an inherent right to the divine character which he had previously assumed.
But observe him afterwards.--He suffers divine homage to be paid to him ; he commends the faith of his worshippers; he reproved Thomas for his unbelief, but he did not for the idolatry of his exclamation, my Lord and my God. Was this like one who knew that he was nothing more than a man? If he were not God, was it honest? On this principle, his Apostles were far more honest than their Master ; for when Paul and Barnabas were taken for gods, they restrained the people. When Cornelius fell down at his fcet and worshipped him, Peter forbade him, saying, “Stand up, I myself 'am a man.” When John fell down before the angel in the Apocalypse, “ See thou do it not, I am a fellow-servant with thee, and with thy brethren who bear testimony of Jesus,-- Worsulip God."
Nay; if Christ be not God, in what light shall we regard the Apostles? Themselves worshipped Christ--they commanded others to worship him; and in proof of his divinity
applied to Christ various passages from the prophets which bespcak the character of the Supreme God. In addressing the Galatians, Paul styled him an apostle, i. e. one sent, not from man nor by man, but by Jesus Christ. If, therefore, the Son be not essentially one with the Father, must we not look on the Apostles, not as having taught us the truth, but by their impious application of prophecies, as having betrayed us into idolatry. They were either deceivers ; or they did not understand the prophets ; or the prophets did not predict a Messiah. Where, then, is the evidence of inspiration? What is this which we call the Bible? “Where the Alternative lies between the Absurd and the Incomprehensible, no wise man can be at a loss which of the two to prefer.”
It remains with us, then, whether to reject the Scriptures as a Revelation from Heaven, or to admit the Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The only choice which is left us is, either to believe that God was manifest in the flesh; or to believe--nothing! Hence it is, that Infidelity begins by assailing the absolute Divinity of Christ : it is first admitted with certain modifications ; then, Christ is rapidly degraded from his supreme dignity to an emanation, and then to a mere creature, and then to a mere man, and with the last blow at his divinity is lost all respect for Inspiration;* and thus, the mind has often passed through the rarious descending stages of errour until it has lost all peace with all vision in the blackness of darkness for ever.
It has been our endeavour, consequently, to afford a glimpse of the arguments by which this doctrine is sup. ported. We may have failed to present it in its strongest light, or to relieve it from all its difficulties. Let it be granted, that our powers are inadequate to the task which we have essayed ; still, the interests of the doctrine we have aimed to exhibit, cannot be impaired by the imbecility of its advocate.—Engraven on the tablet of Eternal Truth, it scorns our aid, as it defics our opposition. Yes ; Christ is ALL AND IN ALL. By the doctrine of his INCARNATE DIVINITY, stands or falls the whole fabric of the gospel--on it, our everlasting destiny !
The truth of this might be illustrated by the case of Dr. Priestly:For a sketch of his career in errour, see Douglas's Errours regarding Religion, p. 165.
There are some, however, who may not be attracted by this discussion. What is it to the thoughtless worldling, whether Christ be God, or whether Christ have died ? He cares for none of these things. Sporting himself with his own deceivings, he may sleep on until the clangor of the trump announces the tremendous fact, that the great day of His wrath is come.
But it is otherwise with the anxious sinner. He feels that he is lost and wretched, and where shall he look ? that he is the object of God's wrath, and in what shall he find a covert from the storm ? that he is doomed to death, and who shall be to him the resurrection and the life ? that he is guilty and polluted, and who shall wash away his stains and fit him for a holy heaven? Will you point him to a man, or to any creature? Mock not the anguish of his feelings. Hark! does he not call loudly for a rescue ? Is he not sinking beneath the curse of a holy law? And who amid the rank of creatures* can take away sin by meritorious obedience--can endure the wrath of omnipotence--can lay his hand on a holy God and on sinful man--can close the mouth of the pit-can open to him immortality, and prepare him to stand before God? But why so vain a question ? Already has he felt the vanity of the creature; and as he beholds in Christ the blending yet softened attributes of a God, O! with what confidence and joy does he exclaim, To whom, Lord, shall I go but unto thee? Thou ALONE HAST
THE WORDS OF ETERNAL LIFE.
What is the value of this doctrine, then, to the experienced Christian ? Take away his divine Saviour, and you
* Remove for him, (the practical inquirer,) the difficulties and objections which oppose or perplex his belief of a crucified Saviour; convince him of the reality of sin, which is impossible without a knowledge of its true nature and consequences; and then satisfy him as to the fact historically and as to the truth spiritually, of a redemption therefrom by Christ; do this for him, and there is lille fear that he will permit either logical quirks or metaphysical puzzles to contravene the plain dictates of common sense--the Sinless One that redeemed mankind from sin, must have been more than man."-Aids to Reflection, p. 157. We have thus, again, endeavoured to corroborate our views by some appropriate quolation from Coleridge; and if apology be necessary for having repeatedly alluded to this writer, it will be found not only in our blending sentiments of admiration and respect for his intellect, but in the fact that he whose reasonings are so conclusive on the subject of Christ's divinity, was in the early part of his public life a Unitarian Minister. Vide Hazlitt's Literary Remains, r. 279-in connexion with Lamb's Works, vol. i.,
have rifled his heart! Whither, ah! whither shall he go? It is not for him to be just before God; it is not for him to lift up even his eyes to heaven. Without a sacrifice for sin ; without a medium of access—without an intercessor on High, he mourns in solitude over the wreck of hope which was radiant with immortality ;-he is tossed on an ocean of doubt, and darkness, and despair ;-he lives, he dies, the conscious victim of God's wrath and curse!
Art. VII. ThoughtS ON THE New-HAVEN THEOLOGY.
By the EDITOR.
WHENEVER any serious errour has been introduced to the Church, a long previous process has been found necessary to prepare the public mind for its reception. A tor. rent of ridicule has been poured upon those who have been disposed to contend for the truth: a firm attachment to one's sentiments has been denounced as bigotry : an indolent indifference to all opinions extolled as the mark of a noble and ingenuous mind." In communities where errour has prepared for a triumph, no vice whatever is censured with such zeal and warmth as that charity which rejoiceth in the truth, and no virtue, however pure, so highly extolled as that counterfeit charity which denies or betrays it. The advocates of new doctrines are aware that if they efface from men's minds all respect for truth, the passions alone will secure the admission of errour, and the multitude is at last brought to consider it of little consequence what they believe ; to place truth and errour on the same level, and, as to all practical purposes, to confound them.
In communities where the word of God continues to be honoured, revealed truth is regarded one of the greatest gifts which God has bestowed on mankind. Numerous martyrs have demonstrated to the world that they regarded it as dearer than life, and all the truly wise prize it beyond all
worldly good. They have spared no labour nor study to obtain it; they have sacrificed their pride of reason, their preconceived opinions and their dearest inclinations 10 embrace it. But now we begin to be told that it is no matter whether we have it or not, that it is bigotry to suppose that we have it ; that it is the very height of presumption to believe in our belief, or to suppose that the opposite can be errour. The very essence of charity is made to consist in believing all others to be right, and it seems now to be a seliled policy to divide truth equally among opposing denominations. The pretended mother who came to Solo. mon, seemed to make a very equitable proposal ; she desired that, as the child was claimed by both parties, it might be cut in two and divided equally between them ; but the unnatural offer detected the falseness of her claims. And so it is at the present day. Cut truth in two, divide it any way, you cannot fail to suit them. Men cheerfully part with that which they have ceased to value. We may readily form an estimate of the motives which have animated these innovators in their search after truth, when they begin by attempting to confound the distinction between truth and errour, and assure us that the opinions they would introduce are no more important than those they would supplant. Themselves being judges, neither they nor their opinions arc entitled to a hearing.
Notwithstanding all the artifice, ambiguity, apparent retractions and real contradictions with which errourists introduce their opinions, they are sure to be suspected, to be de. tected by a few, and to become the subject of censure; and every artifice is put in requisition to turn the honest warnings of the friends of truth against themselves; and to shelter these innovators, they are represented as the objects of a cruel persecution; the orthodox are stigmatised as bigoted, cruel, ambitious, and vindictive. Great efforts are making at present to enlist sympathy for a certain class, and excite odiuin against the friends of what has hitherto been regarded as truth. Now we appeal to any man whether his sympa. thies are due to those who reverence the word of God, or to those who he believes would corrupt it: whether as a memher of Christ he should feel sympathy for his suffering mem. bers, whom errour would delude, or for those who would delude them ; whether he should have his compassion direct