« FöregåendeFortsätt »
6 I pro
sent instance, we shall be able to perceive, whether the Word and Jesus Christ be identically the same, or whether they be distinct. A few examples will be sufficient for the purpose; and the reader may follow them out at his leisure.
“ And I saw, and bear record, that this is the Son of God" (the Word], John i. 34. “The Spirit of the Lord [the Word] is upon me," Luke iv. 18. ceeded forth and came from God” (the Word], John viii. 42. “ All things are delivered unto me of my Father” [the Word], Luke x. 22. “A man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God” (the Word], John viii. 40. “ But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” [the Word], Mark xiii. 32. “My Father (the Word] is greater than I," John xiv. 28. “ This is life eternal
, that they may know Thee the only true God [the Word], and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent,” John xvii. 3. 6. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God [the Word] hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ,” Acts ii. 36.
Thus, I think, we have clear and satisfactory evidence of distinction between the Word and Jesus Christ. He is the Son of the Word; the Spirit of the Word is upon him; he received all things from the Word; be heard the truth of the Word; he knew not, but the Word knew, the day and hour of the last judgment; the Word was greater than he; the Word was the only true God, who sent him; and the Word made him Lord and Christ. And wbat are all these, but so many proofs of distinction between the Word and himself? Now, let us apply this line of argument in another
Jesus Christ, say Trinitarians, is the Word; and the Word is God-proper Deity. Subjoin God, then, to Jesus Christ, under any of his names; and if he indeed be the Word, all will be consistent. But if the application be incongruous, then we may rest assured, that he is not the Word; for, doubtless, the definition of the Word, can be applied to that Being who is the Word, and with the strictest propriety.
“ Mary of whom was born Jesus (God], who is called Christ,” Matt. i. 16. “ And when the parents brought in the child Jesus [God] to do for him after the custom of
the law," &c. Luke ii. 27. “And Jesus (God) increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man,' Luke ii. 52. “ God anointed Jesus [God] of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power,” Acts x. 38. “And at the ninth hour, Jesus (God] cried with a loud voice, saying, My God, my God, why bast thou forsaken me?" Mark xv. 34. “ And Jesus [God] cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost,” Mark xv. 37. “Joseph of Arimathea craved the body of Jesus (God], and laid bim in a sepulchre,” Mark xv. 43, 46. “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus (God], whom ye slew and hanged on a tree,” Acts v. 30. « Jesus [God] saith, go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, and to my God and your God," John XX. 17.
“ So then after the Lord [God] had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God,” Mark xvi. 19.
“ And Stephen said, Bebold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man [God] standing on the right hand of God," Acts vii. 56.
Such is the application of the Word, under its signifition God, to Jesus Christ. Is it consistent? Most certainly not. For, was the Supreme God born? was he a child? had he human parents? and was he brought by them to Jerusalem, to be presented to the Lord? Did the Supreme God increase in wisdom and stature, and in favour with the Supreme God and man? Did the Supreme God anoint the Supreme God with the Holy Ghost and with power? Did the Supreme God on the cross, address the Supreme God who filled beaven and earth with his presence, saying, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Did the Supreme God, in the agonies of crucifixion, expire? Was the Supreme God slain and hanged on a tree by the Jews? Was the Supreme God a corpse, and laid in a sepulchre? Was the Supreme God raised from the dead by the Supreme God? Did the Supreme God call mankind his brethren? and did he tell them, that he ascended to his Father and their Father, and to his God and their God? Did the Supreme God sit on the right hand of the Supreme God? and was the Supreme God at the same time the Son of man?
Trinitarians would be shocked at the idea of admitting such consequences. They would utterly disclaim them,
as at once offensive to common sense, and derogatory to the honour of the Almighty Jehovah.*
Then the Word, in its admitted signification of proper Deity, cannot be applied to Jesus Christ. And one instance of distinction is clearly made out. The Word is God; but Jesus Christ is the Son, the Lamb, the Anointed, the Sent of God (the Word); and he calls this same God (the Word) his God and Father, as well as the God and Father of all mankind. Therefore, the Word and Jesus Christ must be distinct from each other. If Trinitarians admit this, as regards the human nature of Christ, then do they not give up the position, that the Word was literally made fesh? And if not literally, wherein do they differ from Unitarians, who contend that the Word was figuratively made flesh, or communicated to, and tabernacled in flesh--the man Christ Jesus?
(To be Continued.)
In our last Number, we inserted the resolutions of the Committee of the British & Foreign Unitarian Association, in relation to this very interesting and important
* Whilst such language as the following, is still employed by professing Christians in the public worship of the Almighty, we think our friend N. C. has given Trinitarians more credit for common sense than they merit:--"By the mystery of thy holy incarnation, by thy holy nativity and circumcision, by thy baptism, fasting, and temptation, good Lord deliver us. By thine agony and bloody sweat, by thy cross and passion, by thy precious death and burial, good Lord deliver us."
« Our souls adore the Eternal God
Who condescended to be born."
Come to be suckled and adored."
In groans of an expiring God?”
That crucified my God,
Fast to the fatal wood.'
I can no pleasure find;
Are terrors to my mind.”
subject. Those resolutions have since been confirmed by the unanimous vote of the annual meeting.
That large towns and cities particularly, need such a Christian and moral superintendence, will be evident, if we only reflect on the tendency of large communities to encourage vice. Dr. Tuckerman, in the second report of the fourth year of his service as Minister at large, has pointed out that tendency very clearly.
“ In the country, and even in villages of a considerable population, every individual has a sufficient prominence, to be known to almost every other individual in his neighbourhood, and perhaps in the parish in which he lives. The poor are successively labouring for those who have lands to be cultivated; they every day see, and are seen by, the richest around them; and, even if they do not meet in the same church every Sunday, the characters and babits of each are well known to the other. In the city, on the other hand, men are not only divided, and separated, by the very great inequalities of their condition in respect to property, by the diversity of interests among them, and by their various inclinations and tastes for pleasure, but by the very fact of the extent of their numbers. Here are brought together fifty, or a bundred thousand, or it may be hundreds of thousands, living within a very narrow space, each of whom is every day passing thousands, of whose abode, and occupation, and name, he knows nothing. Even individuals in the different classes may, for a long while, and perhaps through their lives, be unknown to many even of the class to which they belong. There is therefore, proportionally, in the vicious, a hope of escape in open
shame and crime; and, for those who are inclined to crime, a hope of safety from detection in it, which they could not have in the country. And as the differences of condition are here more real and sensible, and the sympathies of the classes with each other far weaker, the suffering of virtuous poverty will not only be often far greater, but greater too will be the recklessness of vicious poverty.”
Again; as the grand field for the exercise of the arts, for the speculations of commerce, for the enterprise of the merchant, for the talents of those of every description who live by the resources of their minds, and for the labourer who has no resource but physical strength for his daily bread, cities are centres of attraction to men of every variety of principles, tastes, dispositions, and habits. Here men are drawn both to accumulate and to expend fortunes; to attract notice, and to live in luxury upon the credit they can obtain; and to enjoy the excitement of competition and rivalry, both in business and in fashion. Here come large numbers, hoping to find that demand for their service, which they could not find in a smaller sphere of action; and here, of course, from the fluctuations of business, there is a constant tendency to a supply beyond the demand, in all the departments of skill and of labour; a constant tendency to an accession of numbers, a considerable part of whom, even if they were all disposed to be honest, can look to nothing better than a condition of bonest poverty, because their service is not wanted; and who, if they are without principle, will fall into dishonesty and crime. Here also, from the same cause, will come the idle, the intemperate, and the profligate; some, from a desire to find associates; some, that they may live more easily by beggary than they can live at home; some, for the better opportunities that are bere to be found, of depredating upon
property of others; and some, that they may escape notice in the crowd, and secure a better hiding-place than a country neighbourhood can give them. These are evils to which there is a constant tendency to growth in cities, in proportion to their growth in numbers, and business, and wealth.
“ Another cause of this tendency is, the facilities which cities, in proportion to the number of their inhabitants, furnish to the indulgence of the grossest appetites, propensities, and passions. Amidst the tens, and hundreds of thousands brought together here, comprehending every diversity of character, there will be found those who will be ready to cater to every base inclination, while there are any to indulge such inclinations, and to support those who will pander to them. The smallest village may indeed have its tavern, and its dram-shop. But the screened soda-shop, the gambling-house, the theatre as it has been, and the brothel, can be profitable establishments, and can be maintained, only where there is a very considerable extent of profligacy, and of moral corruption. Nor can these establishments exist in a city, and be patronized by the rich, without extending their deadly influence to the poor; or be supported by those who are advanced in life, and who in any measure give the tone to public manners, without drawing into their vortex the light and frivolous,