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the care of such unchristian and arbitrary principles, incesgentlemen as you.”
santly varying, according to time, place and circumstances.”
These admirable remarks de. OF THE ILLUSTRIOUS MADAME serve to be carefully remember. DE GENLIS.
ed. They exactly accord with ADAME de Genlis, in a what the serious reflecting
late ingenious perform- mind daily observes in the ance, makes the following just world. and striking remarks: “ Examine impious men closely, and
POETRY. you will invariably find that they have no true knowledge of
PRAISE TO THE REDEEMER. Teligion; that they have for
JESUS how bright thy beauties are ; saken it without having studied
Thy lovely person how divine ! it; that they oppose it without
Who with our Lord shall we compare, understanding it; and that they What glorious form can equal thine? form their judgment of it ex
With gentle smiles sweet mercy spreads clusively on the pitiful sophisms | Her kindest beams in his dear face ; and the superficial and lying His love our highest thoughts exceeds, productions of its detractors.- And claims our most exalted praise. You will see that the true cause Let men and Angels both unite, of their disgust with religion, is To speak the g.ories of our king,
With fear, and love, and vast delight the severity of its morals, and
His lofty praise with rapture sing. the convenient pliancy of mo. dera philosophy.
But what is men's or Angel's praise,
To our great King's immortal name; “ Examine thoroughly the The various glories he displays, lives and conduct of the impi- shall better speak his power and fame. ous ; you may find among them Yet he approves our humble songs, some natural virtues; but if And bows his gracious ear to hear; they have strong passions, you Almighty Lord, our joyful tongues, will never find them moral
Shall sound thy praise with holy fear. men; and in the best of them, We'll tell the world thy wondrous
grace, you will always discover a base
How Jesus dwelt in mortal clay; less system of ethics, full of And died to save our sinful race, contradictions, inconsistencies, 'And wipe our vile reproach away.
Donations to the Missionary Society of Connecticut. August 13th. A Friend of Missions, ,
$5 58 An unknown Widow,
5 16th. A Friend of Missions,
Society, Litchfield, for purchase of the
Thoughts on the Doctrine of the
versary, and supports the “God Trinity.
of this world." But notwith
standing the artful and spurious HE doctrine of a Trinity objections against the doctrine of
of persons in the God- the Trinity, if it be a doctrine head, tho' acknowledged by the of revelation, it is to be avowed fathers, and believed by most as such, and cordially received Protestant divines for ages, is a by the friends of Jesus. disputed doctrine, and, in the The object of the following present day, discarded by some remarks is not, directly to prove who are set for the defence of that the existence of one God in the gospel. Many specious ob- three distinct persons is a truth jections are raised against it, of revelation ; but rather to anand much said to stagger the swer some questions that are faith and disturb the minds of proposed by way of objection to some who are, yet, honest and the doctrine. sincere friends of Christ, and The questions proposed to those truths contained in his be considered are the followgospel. Not only weak minded ing: Christians are wounded by those
1. In what doth personality observations that are raised a- consist-doth it not involve the gainst this fundamental doctrine idea of perception and volition? of Christianity, but injury is II. If personality involve the done in another view. Weapons idea of perception and volition, are put into the hands of the ene- how is a person distinguished mies of the cross, and the cause from a being. of infidelity is strengthened. If III. Is it not a contradiction professors of religion—if the to say there are three persons teachers of Christianity raise possessed of perception and roobjections against the most im- lition, constituting one being portant doctrines of that gospel possessed of perception and vothey are set to defend, it lition ? strengthens the cause of the ad I. In what doth personality
VOL. V. No. 4.
consiste doth it not involve the men do not admit of any disidea of perception and volition ? | tinction. Every distinct person
It is readily granted that the is viewed as a distinct being.idea that first presents itself James, Peter and John are perwhen a person is spoken of is sons, each distinct, as to personthat it is a rational intelligence ality, from the other. Their a being possessed of percep- being is also as distinct as their tion and volition. To such an personality. . They are three one only can personal proper persons, and three distinct beties and characters be applied. ings. The human mind, indeed, The word person cannot, with is not capable of abstracting, or any propriety, be applied to any making a distinction between but one that has a rational mind person and being, as applied to -one capable of distinguishing men. This is readily conceded, good from evil, and of choosing although the doctrine of the and refusing. The most impor. Trinity is owned as lying at the tant creatures, of the inanimate foundation of the Christian kind, are not persons, however scheme. useful to mankind.
III. Is it not a contradiction the word, in strictness of pro- to say there are three persons priety, be applied to any of the possessed of perception and voirrational animals. The Psalm-lition, constituting one being ist, it is true, compares the sun possessed of perception and voto a “Bridegroom coming out lition? of his chamber, and rejoicing as In attending to this question a strong man to run a race. it seems necessary to answer But this is, evidently, to be taken two others. One is whether the in a figurative sense ; and so proposition be contrary to reaare all personal properties when son ? The other is, whether it applied either to mere animals, be, in fact, a contradiction in or to inanimate things. Noth- terms? ing short of a rational mind, 1. Is the proposition contrary capable of wishing and exerci- to reason ? sing choice, can constitute a per
A doctrine or proposition may son. Without entering into be contrary to the method of any metaphysical disquisitions, reasoning used by those in oppoit may be said, in the plain lan- sition to it, and not contrary to guage of common sense, that reason itself. A doctrine may, personality consisteth in a ra- also, be above the comprehentional mind, capable of choosing sion of reason, and yet, in no and refusing, and that in view of measure, contrary to it. We moral good and evil; and, there- are to make a distinction before, that perception and volition tween a doctrine contrary to reaare, necessarily, involved in it. son, and one above its compre
II. If personality involve the hension. “ We may conclude idea of perception and volition, says one writer, a doctrine is how is a person distinguished contrary to reason when it confrom a being?
tradicts some of the first princiThe words person and being ples which the mind of man canwhen applied to finite rational not but assent to without any existencies, such as angels or proof. Such are the following:
the whole is greater than a part it thence follow that to say there it is impossible a thing should be are three divine persons conand not be at the same time-two stituting one divine being is a are more than one." If a doc- contradiction in terms. To astrine contradict such plain, self-sert, because our ideas of a disevident propositions it is con- tinct finite person are that he is trary to reason.
But this can- a distinct being, and because not be said of the doctrine of the we are not able to separate perTrinity. The most we can say sonality from being, when appliof that is, that it is above the ed to creatures, that therefore comprehension of a finite mind. every distinct divine person is a Should we say that three per distinct divine being, would be sons are one person, or that the false reasoning. And so, beone divine being is three divine cause we are not able to abbeings, it would do violence to stract separate personality from common sense, and contradict separate being, when applied to the first principles of reason. creatures, to assert, that thereBut the proposition is that three fore the proposition, “there are persons constitute one divine three divine persons possessed being, which is not contrary to of perception and volition conreason, however mysterious and stituting one divine being pos. incomprehensible to a finite un- sessed of perception and voliderstanding.
,” is a contradiction in terms, 2. Is the proposition a con
would be false reasoning ; it tradiction in terms ?
would be drawing inferences To say that the one divine be- without any premises it would ing, possessed of perception and be to assert, that since we do volition, is three divine beings, not fully understand and compossessed of perception and vo- prehend a proposition it cannot lition, would be a contradiction be true--and this method of reain terms.
Or should we say soning would exclude from huthat one divine person is three man belief many of the truths divine persons it would be self of revelation : Yea, it would excontradiction. But tho' it is clude from the minds of many, conceded that we cannot ab- a belief of some propositions stract personality from being, which are capable of demonstrait doth not thence follow that tion. every distinct divine
is a If we consider the subject distinct being; nor that as many fairly, and in the exercise of distinct divine persons as there Christian candor, the proposiare, so many distinct divine be- tion we are examining will not ings there are. Nor does it fol- appear either a violation of realow because we cannot conceive son or a contradiction in terms. of distinct personality without, What tho' it contain a mystery; at the same time, conceiving of yet that, it is conceived, is no obdistinct being, when applied to jection against it. Many things creatures, that therefore they which we cannot comprehend, cannot be conceived of separate- or fully understand, we ly, or that they cannot be sep
bound to believe. Who can acarated in the divine mind, and count for the divine existence, in the divine being. Nor does from eternity, underived and
uncaused? Who can, on ra- of the Bible, and pronounce it tional, philosophical principles, inconsistent and contradictory, see how all things were made of while we admit others equally nothing?. These are as real mysterious and incomprehenmysteries, and as contrary to sible? This will be degrading reason, as the doctrine of the to our own understanding, as Trinity. Who can account for well as reproachful to the infi, îne resurrection of the body, nite God. While we are not to and the change of those who explain or investigate the docshall be found alive at judgment ? trine of the Trinity, for there is Of the latter, Paul saith, “Be- nothing in the nature of creatures hold, I shew you a mystery ; by which it can be illustrated, we we shall not all sleep, but we are to admit it as true on the shall all be changed in a moment, credit of divine revelation-esin the twinkling of an eye."- pecially so, since it is neither a Is not this a mystery-as really violation of reason, nor a contraso as the doctrine of the Trini- diction in terms. If we estabty? Can we any more com- lish it as a maxim, to admit no prehend the one than the other? doctrine but what we can exIs it to be accounted for on plain, on principles of reason principles of reason and philoso- and human philosophy, we may phy? And shall we reject this, deny the doctrine of the Trinity. or any other doctrine, because And on this principle we shall above reason ; and say it cannot deny many other leading truths be true because we are unable of scripture. On this principle, to comprehend it?
We cannot indeed, we shall discard and de. “ find out the Almighty unto | ny many things, which we know perfection.” God is greater than exist, in the natural world.
He sees thro' and per. Yea, this principle lays the basis fectly understands those things of infidelity, and, if pursued, leads which, to the human mind, are a short and easy way to a denial enveloped in thick darkness ; of the whole scheme of Chris, and by his unlimited power he tianity. is able to accomplish all his It may be suitable before purposes. God can as easily these remarks are closed, to change, in a moment, a natural notice some of the dangerous to a spiritual body, as he can consequences of denying the will to do it—and he knows per- doctrine of the Trinity ; or adfectly well, how all things were mitting the force of any objec- : made of nothing, and under- tions against it. stands his own eternal existence 1. If we deny the doctrine of underived and uncaused, tho' the Trinity in unity it is a denial in view of these the human of the divinity of Christ. If there mind is lost and bewildered.- be not three divine persons exSo, by his infinite understand- isting in one God, the divinity of ing, God is able to see through Christ must be given up-it the doctrine of the Trinity, and cannot be supported on any know it is true, though to us it other ground. If we allow that be an incomprehensible mys-distinct personality constitutes tery.
distinct being, when applied to Shall we deny one doctrine' God, then of course, Jesus