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tional, spiritual essences. How infinitely more so, when we think of the eternal, independent, omnipotent, omniscient Spirit! We are lost in an ocean, without a bottom, or a shore! What shall direct our faith in such a case? The Word, the unerring Word of God! This is the only compass, the only polar star, on such an ocean. What God informs of himself is to be received with humble, adoring faith ; though the subject exceed our comprehension, as far as God is above man. Not a word of cavil, or unbelief should escape the lip, or be conceived in the heart.
Man is blessed with three sources of information ; his senses, reason, and faith, or Revelation. Those rise bove each other. T'he senses furnish materials for reason;
and reason discovers the need and evidence of Revelation. But faith alone embraces the sublime dictates of Revelation. Reason judges, where the senses cannot perceive. And faith embraces what reason cannot suggest, much less comprehend. Sense and reason read the language of Revelation; and then must wait for faith adoringly to embrace what God suggests. Reason is never to be impertinent in her objections, or questions, when God speaks. This is leaving her province, and committing herself to the ocean of infidelity. Here is the fatal charybdis, which has ingulfed millions in skepticism and ruin.
Relative to the doctrine of the Divinity of Christ, of his Sonship, and of the Trinity in Unity of the Godhead, Revelation is our only guide. Find the plainest language of the Bible upon these points, and there we will hold ; let whatever objections or
difficulties seem to attend. Where reason fails, let faith adore ! My object in this Treatise is to ascer tain the true sense of the sacred Oracles upon the subjects proposed; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
Hopkinton, Feb. 12th, 1812,
WHAT was the great question concerning '
Jesus Christ, after he entered his public ministry on earth ?
WE read of Christ's being 6 declared to be the Son of God with power,-by his resurrection from the dead.” Here is one decision of the great question of that day; and it is, that Christ was the Son of God. No doubt this implies all the great truths involv. ed in his mediatorial name and character. But it looks more immediately at one point, which was now ascertained.
This point was the great question of that day concerning him. And what was this? Was it, whether Christ's highest nature was actually derived from God, as à son from a father, and thus began to exist, and is totally dependent ?
Or was this the great question concerning Christ? Was Jesus of Nazareth the true Messiah? Or was he an impostor?
Do we find at that day any such question as the following? In what sense is the promised Messiah the Son of God? What is the mode of his divine existence ? Was his Divinity derived ? Or was it underived ? Is it dependent? Or is it independent? Is it eternal ? Or had it a beginning ?
Was not this the great question of that day? Was he, who was born of Mary, and who was reputed to be the carpenter's son, who preached and wrought miracles, was rejected by the Jews, as an impostor; but was received by many, as the Messiah; was this the Saviour of the world? Was he indeed that wonderful Person, so long foretold, and promised under various titles; and among the rest, was to be known as the Son of God? Or was he an impostor?
Let this question be decided, and we at once determine what was the most literal sense of of the texts, which speak of Christ's being declared to be the Son of God; of man's believing, or disbelieving that Jesus was the Son of God. If the great question was not concerning a literal Sonship of the Divinity of the Messiah; but concerning the Messiahship of Jesus of Nazareth ; then what was said, at that period, concerning his being the
Son of God, decides nothing relative to their views of the ground of his Sonship; or of a literal derivation of his Divinity from God, as from a father.
But this was the great point of contest at that day; Is this Jesus of Nazareth the Christ of God? The Jews denied ; Jesus
affirmed; and his miracles, doctrines, life, death, resurrection, and ascension to glory, all united to evince the truth of his aflirmation. When they asked Christ, “ Art thou the Son of God? and he said, I am ;" this was the meaning: Art thou the promised Messiah ? and he said, I am.
John the Baptist from the prison proposed the very question of that day: 66 Art thou he, that should come? Or do we look for another?" The woman of Samaria says, 6 Come see a man, that told me all that ever I did: Is not this the Christ.?" Let the Jews themselves decide this point. " Then came the Jews round about him, and said unto him, How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly.” And the Jews had agreed, thșt if any did confess him to be Christ, they should be put out of the synagogue.
The high priest said to Christ, “ I adjure thee, by the living God, that thou tell us, whether thou be the Christ, the Son of God.” Christ said to his disciples, “ But whom do ye say that I am ? And Peter answereth--Thou art the Christ.” No question relative to a literal Sonship of Christ's Divinity appears to be contained in these testimonies. But the question then in agitation was, relative to his being the Christ, and not an impostor. In Matt. xvi. 20, the disciples were exhorted to 66 tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.” It was because Jesus laid claim to this high character, that