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it is susceptible of a different and more correct solution than that which is given in the inquiry. It was not the result of clearer evidence being imparted, it was not, as it is remarked, because “ the beams of his Godhead did not discover themselves in a triumphant and convincing light during the days of his humiliation” — the very opposite of this appears to have been the case -- and their slowness of heart to believe, their oft recurring doubts and perplexities, whilst yet disciples, must be attributed to the want of that Spirit of truth which was afterwards communicated, and which effectually dispelled their hesitation, confirmed their faith, and led them into all truth. The object which the writer had in view in the discussion of this point is not very apparent. If it is, as I strongly suspect, to lower the importance of believing in our Lord's divinity - to prove the harmlessness of loose and unsettled notions with reference to it, “ the apostles being,” he observes, “in a state of grace and salvation before there is any sufficient evidence of their faith therein" — to show that the doctrine is not so fundamental as the orthodox maintain the fact makes equally against the atonement, the intercession, and each branch of the mediatorial economy; so that every thing valuable in Christianity would cease to be important and fundamental with it. Such a conclusion as this no one would more strongly condemn than Dr. Watts; yet it is as fairly drawn from his premises as his own inference, if rightly understood, and must stand or fall with it. But it is easy to perceive that his premises are not tenable; for the assertion is perfectly gratuitous, that the apostles were in a saved state previous to their faith in Christ as a divine person ; it is as much as saying, that they were believers and unbelievers at the same time. The experience of the disciples during the ministry of their Lord, partook of mingled light and shade, hope and fear, confidence and doubt; but there were periods of unclouded sunshine, of clear and joyous insight into the native dignity of his character, when noble confessions of his

divine majesty broke from their lips and won his approval. No argument can then be drawn from their case, to soften and extenuate the indulgence of latitudinarian sentiments; there is no parallel between the hesitations of the disciple, however frequent, and the settled unbelief of the Arian but there is a “great gulf” indeed between a mind in which, in the infancy of Christianity, faith and doubt might contend for the mastery, and one in which, under its full maturity, infidelity is dominant towards its peculiar and leading doctrines.

The next publication that comes under review, is an Essay appended to the “ Questions,” on “ The true importance of any human schemes to explain the sacred doctrine of the Trinity.” It is argued, that no such scheme is necessary to salvation - that it may yet be of great use to the Christian church — but that all such explications should be proposed with modesty to the world, and never enforced upon the conscience. As to any explication of the doctrine, it is one of the “secret things" which God has reserved unto himself-he has here held back “the face of his throne, and spread his cloud upon it” — and as it savours largely of intellectual pride and vanity to attempt to remove the obscurity in which divine wisdom has seen good to involve it; so every scheme of solution must be attended with uncertainty, and can only be rendered obligatory by the most intolerable dogmatism. But as to the doctrine itself, the simple fact of its revelation proves its importance -- ascertain it to be a truth of scripture, and its reception or rejection ceases to be a matter of indifference, and becomes a matter of responsibility. Its opponents bare loudly asserted, that, admitting its truth, the dogma is one so purely speculative, as to serve no purpose whatever, in either morals or religion; but such a statement proceeds upon false principles. Revelation is not a needless though liberal overflowing of the divine intelligence - it has not been made for the mere purpose of display -every particle is connected with

a moral end, and to accomplish its object nothing is wanting, nothing is superfluous. Dr. Priestley allows, that the doctrine may be necessary to explain some particular texts: a confession which, however short of what truth might demand, stamps it with the highest character of importance. But the denial of it, pushed to its consequences, would necessarily overthrow the atonement and the whole mediatorial scheme, and thus give a stab to the vitals of Christianity. What measure of speculative error may comport or be incongruous with the existence of real piety, it becomes not human fallibility to decide. Injury has been done to the cause of truth by the intemperate zeal of its advocates, who have made a man an offender for a word, and denounced as an Arian he who did not bow implicitly to the creed of Athanasius, and hesitated to subscribe to what he conscientiously might deem was tritheism. That there have been men of unexceptionable piety, who have entertained latitudinarian opinions upon the Trinity - opinions, as to their tendency, pregnant with the utmost danger — cannot be disputed, and Dr. Watts is himself an instance. But the danger is, that when speculation, however undesignedly, trespasses upon forbidden ground, and errors of minor importance are imbibed, they are apt to generate others of greater magnitude; and the remote consequences that have followed upon trivial departures from the truth, seem to justify the alarm and jealousy which such deviations generally create. Dr. Watts would have witnessed an illustration of this, had his life been spared a little longer : he would have seen the semi-arians, to whom the kindness of his nature led him to stretch out the hand of charity, pass swiftly down the stream of error, and launch out into the ocean of

* Of Thomas Firmin, unquestionably a Socinian, eren Wesley, who published his life, candidly acknowledged, “I was exceedingly struck at reading the following lise, having long settled it in my mind, that the entertaining wrong notions con. cerning the Tripity was inconsistent with real piety. But I cannot argue against matter of fact. I dare not deny that Mr. Firmin was a pious man, although his notions of the Trinity were quite erroneous.” Arminian Mag.

Socinian heterodoxy. It is but justice, however, to add, that whilst he pleads for kindness and brotherly love towards those who dissented from the orthodox doctrine, whilst he treats as unscriptural and presumptuous their exclusion by any sect from communion, he ever supposes a life of holy obedience and practice, of conformity to the divine will, trust in the atonement, and dependence upon the Spirit's influence, to exist.

In the latter end of the year 1746 Dr. Watts published his last work in the controversy, entitled “ The Glory of Christ as God-Man displayed.” This is considered in three discourses, upon the visible appearances of Christ as God before his incarnation - the extensive powers of his human nature in its present glorified state--and the ante-mundane existence of his human soul. The whole work is an elaborate endeavour to establish the latter position, the author's favourite sentiment, which he regarded as one of the main pillars of the indwelling scheme, the grand panacea for all the difficulties of the trinitarian doctrine. The notion is not new. If it is not expressed, as some imagine, in the Shepherd of Hermas, it was undoubtedly held by Origen, who supposed that “the soul of the Son in its perfection was in God and his fulness, and coming out thence, when he was sent by the Father, took a body of Mary.” Among the moderns who have professed and defended it, are Bishops Burnet, Gastrell, and Fowler, Dr. H. More, Dr. T. Goodwin, and Dr. T. Bennet, Mr. Fleming and Mr. Hussey.

It is argued, that actions and services are represented as being performed by Christ, previous to his incarnation, which seem“ too low for the dignity of pure Godhead. Does it not seem,” says he,“more congruous, that a human soul should animate that human body which eat and drank with Abraham under a tree, and should actuate those human limbs when a man wrestled with Jacob? Is it not beneath the grandeur, decency, and dignity of the supreme Majesty of heaven, to sup

ply the place of such a human soul for the purposes or actions of animal nature ? And that the great and eternal God himself, in an immediate manner, should converse in so human and familiar a way as this angel did with several of the patriarchs ?" The reason is not stated, why these offices are “ too low” for Deity, and the bare assertion seems like dictating the divine procedure, and defining the bounds of decorum for the high and lofty One. But our author loses sight of his own theory; for if, as he supposes, the human soul of Christ had intimate communion with the divine nature in its preexistent state, the Godhead was as much a party in these transactions, as though exclusively animating the visible shape that appeared. The argument, if it has any force, might be employed by infidel philosophy with advantage against the doctrine of providence and the scheme of redemption; for, that a sparrow should not fall or a leaf wither without the observance of the Infinite --- and especially to be manifest in the flesh -- to travel through the short span of mortal life — to be familiar with hunger and thirst, fatigue and tears, pain and death - in short, every fact upon which the display of pardoning love to the sinner is founded, might be dismissed as improbable, if man is to judge what is too low” or what is fitting for an association with the divine dignity. For the other reasons advanced in favour of this singular notion, I must refer the reader to the work itself, as they are not of sufficient weight to deserve examination here. The opinion has to contend with insuperable difficulties -- the scriptures are completely silent with reference to it - and their general tenor is directly opposed to such a conclusion. It remains to be explained, how Christ, with any propriety, can be called the Son of Man, if his human spirit was formed ages before man was created — how he can be the second Adam, if the principal part of his humanity existed before the first - how it can be said, that “ he took not on him the nature of angels,” if in a glorious arch-angelic nature he had

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