« FöregåendeFortsätt »
addressed, and therefore printed both in Bengallee and English,) have made up their minds that the arguments of the Brahminical Magazine are unanswerable : and I now republish, therefore, only the English translation, that the learned among Christians, in Europe as well as in Asia, may form their opinion on the subject".-The arguments and representations of the Hindoo, deserve to be seriously weighed by the Missionary.
Extracts from the Controversy with the Baptist Missionaries, illustrative of RAMMOHUN Roy's Doctrinal Opinions, and his mode of supporting them.*
On the Grounds of Acceptance.--" We are taught by revelation, as well as education, to ascribe to the Deity the perfection of those attributes which are esteemed excellent amongst mankind. And according to those ideas it must surely appear more consistent with the justice of the Sovereign Ruler, that he should admit to mercy those of his subjects who, acknowledging his authority, have endeavoured to obey his laws, or shewn contrition when they have fallen short of their duty and love ; than that he should select for favour those whose claims rest on having acquired particular ideas of his nature, and of the origin of his Son, and of what afflictions that Son may have suffered in behalf of his people”.P. 116.
“He (the Editor of the Friend of In lia) has not, however, attempted to counteract the force of the passages I quoted in both of my Appeals, shewing that the guilt occasioned by the want of due obedience to the precepts in question may be
* Respecting this Controversy see the foregoing Discourse, pp. 37, 38; and also the Biographical Sketch, par. 12–16. The references are to the London reprint of the “ Precepts of Jesus” with the “ Appeals to the Christian Public".
pardoned through repentance, prescribed by the author of those precepts as the sure and only remedy for human failure. I therefore beg to ask the Editor to give a plain explanation of the following passages, selected from my Appeals, that the reader may be able to judge whether or not repentance can procure us the blessings of pardon for our constant omissions in the discharge of the duties laid down in the precepts of Jesus”. These passages are Luke v. 32. xxiv. 47. xiii 3. 11-32. Having cited these passages, the Author continues, “ Those who place confidence in the divine mission of Jesus, or even in his veracity, will not hesitate, I trust, for a moment, to admit that Jesus has directed us to sincere repentance, as the only means of proeuring pardon, knowing the inability of men to give entire obedience to his precepts; and that Jesus would have recommended the lawyer, whom he directed to righteousness, to have recourse to repentance had he gone and sincerely attempted' to obey his precepts, ' watching his own heart to discern those constant neglects of the duty he owed to the Creator and to his fellow-creatures', and then applied to Jesus for the remedy of his discerned imperfections". He then refers to Ps. li. 17. Ezek. xviii. 30. Prov. xvi. 6. Is. i. 18.-Pp. 366-369.
In the course of a close and able “ Inquiry into the Doctrine of the Atonement”, in the Final Appeal, the Hindoo Controversialist (p. 379) represents the passage brought forwards by his opponent, as implying no more than 6 that Jesus, the spiritual Lord and King of Jews and Gentiles, in fulfilment of the duties of his mission, exposed his own life for the benefit of his subjects, purged their sins by his doctrines, and persevered in executing the commands of God even to the undergoing of bodily suffering in the miserable death of the cross-a self-devotion or sacrifice of which no Jewish high-priest had ever offered an example. Ought not this belief in the unbounded beneficence of Jesus to excite superior gratitude, love, and reverence towards our Saviour and King, than the idea that he, as God above mortal afflictions, borrowed human nature for a season, and offered this fictitious man as a sacrifice for the remission of sin, while he himself was no more afflicted with that sacrificial death than with the sufferings of other human individuals !" See also pp. 205– 208.
The Second Appeal commences with an admirable defence of the system he had adopted in the “ Precepts of Jesus"; and proceeds to remark upon the position of the Reverend Editor “ that the most excellent precepts, the most perfect “ law, can never lead to happiness and peace, unless by
causing men to take refuge in the doctrine of the cross ” ; —“ meaning, I presume, (says the Brahmin) the doctrine of the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus on the cross, as an atonement for the sins of mankind”. Rammohun Roy then continues as follows : “ As the Reverend Editor has most fairly and justly confined himself to arguments, founded on the authority of the divine Teacher himself, I should hope to be allowed to beg him to point out, in order to establish his position, even a single passage pronounced by Jesus, enjoining a refuge in such a doctrine of the cross, as all-sufficient or indispensable for salvation ; so that his position, thus supported, may be placed in competition with that founded on those passages which I have quoted in the foregoing paragraph, shewing both the indispensableness and the all-sufficiency of the excellent Precepts in question to procure salvation ; and may impel us to endeavour to reconcile contradictions, which would in that case be shewn to subsist, between the passages declaring the all-sufficiency of the moral precepts preached by Christ for eternal life, and those that might be found to announce the indispensableness of the doctrine of the cross for everlasting happiness. It is however evident, that the human race are naturally so weak, and so prone to be led astray by temptations of temporary gratifications, that the best and wisest of them fall short of manifesting a strict obedience to the divine commandments, and are constantly neglecting the duty they owe to the Creator and to their fellow-creatures; nevertheless, in reliance on numerous promises found in the sacred writings, we ought to entertain every hope of enjoying the blessings of pardon from the merciful Father through repentance, which is declared the only means of procuring forgiveness of our failures”. Pp. 152, 153.
Natural Inferiority of the Son to the Father.-In reply to the arguments adduced by Dr. Marshman to prove what he represents as “ the most abstruse and yet the most
important of doctrines, the Deity of Jesus Christ”, Rammohun Roy (p. 155) thus argues.
“ The facts on which the Editor labours to establish these positions, however, seem to me, upon an impartial examination, not only unfavourable to his inference, but even confirmatory of the opposite opinion. For admitting for a moment that the positions of the Editor are well founded, and that the Saviour was in possession of attributes and powers ascribed to God; have we not his own express and often-repeated avowal, that all the powers he manifested were committed to him as the Son, by the Father of the Universe ? And does not reason force us to infer, that a Being who owes to another all his power and authority, however extensive and high, should be in reality considered inferior to that other"? He soon after gives a series of passages which, he says (p. 156) “ I presume suffice to illustrate the entire dependence of the Son on God, his inferiority and subjection to, and his living by, him”; and maintains (p. 159) “ that those powers were conferred on Jesus, and declared by himself to have been received by him from the Father, as the Messiah, Christ, or anointed Son of God, and not solely in his human capacity”.
Oneness of Christ with the Father. « The Saviour having declared that unity existed between the Father and himself, John x. 30, • I and my Father are one', a doubt arose with regard to the sense in which the unity affirmed in those words should be accepted. This Jesus removes by defining the unity so expressed as a subsisting concord of will and design, such as existed among his Apostles, and not identity of being : vide ch. xvii. ver. 11, of John, Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are'. Ver. 22: · The glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one'. Should any one understand by these texts real unity and identity, he must believe that there existed a similar identity between each and all of the Apostles ;—nay, even that the disciples also were included in the Godhead, which in that case would consist of a great many times the number of persons ascribed to the Trinity. John xvii. 20—23: 'Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word – That they all may be one ; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us.—That they may be one, even as we are one. I in them, and thou in me : that they may be made perfect in one'. I know not how it is possible for those who profess obedience to the word of Christ to overlook the explanation he has here so clearly given of the nature of the unity existing between him and the Father, and to adopt a contrary system apparently introduced by some Heathen writers to suit their polytheistical prejudices; but I doubt not the Editor of the Friend of India will admit the necessity of giving preference to divine authority over any human opinion, however prevailing it may be". Pp. 162, 163.
He then proceeds to show at large (p. 163, &c.) that “the Saviour meant unity of design and will by the assertion also, that he was in God, or dwelt in God, and God in him”; and afterwards examines the argument for the Deity of Christ derived from the appellation God. (On this latter point see also a very valuable statement in p. 301.) In reference to the former subject, we find the following passage in p. 167.