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self the Son of God." We grossly mis- / course entirely different. He advances take, when we suppose, that the Jews a claim of superiority to the law; he addid not duly appreciate the good works duces the example of God his Father, which Jesus performed among them. who carries on the operations of nature It is obvious that these, in themselves, and providence without a Sabbatic rest, always attracted the multitude, and or any intermission whatsoever. “My would have drawn the whole nation Father worketh until now; I also after him, but for the important truth work." By making this appeal, Jesus they were wrought to confirm; it was evidently asserts his own right to do on this that formed the ground of accusa, the Sabbath day whatsoever seemed tion; he being a man, made himself good to him to be done; and, if this God; on this they instituted the most was not claiming a parity of power with solemn proceedings against him; be- him who appointed the Sabbath ; and, yond this they required no farther evi-l in the strictest sense of the word, de. dence: on this ground they put him to claring himself to be the Lord of the death; and thus, while they thought Sabbath, it will be difficult to affix any ihey were doing God service, Jesus died meaning to his words. And this power as the King of Martyrs, bearing witness Jesus claims as his own in the grandest to the truth. It would be important to and most magnificent operation to which this question to trace the claims of it can be applied-ihe resurrection of Jesus as they were advanced on different the dead. "It is not,” observes Dr. occasions ; but we can only instance a Smith, “incredible that God should few particulars. We have mentioned raise the dead, but it is absolutely so the opinion of the Jews relative to the that any other being should. Where it works which Jesus performed, and is declared, that the dead shall hear the. would here farther remark, that there voice of the Son of God, “ the plain imcould not possibly be a difference of plication is, that such power is posopinion between the friends and the sessed by him, as can and will effect foes of Jesus, with regard to the nature that most stupendous work, the uni, of those works. It was the claims versal resurrection." which Jesus founded on those works, But an objection is anticipated by that drew forth the opposition of his Dr. S. to the view which he has given enemies. “For a good work we stone of the union, or oneness of Jesus and. thee not, but for blasphemy; and, be- his Father. Because from numerous cause, that thou being a man, makest passages of Scripture, it is plain, that an thyself God." This, it must be ob- intimate union of holy love subsists served, was occasioned by our Lord's between the Father of spirits, and his having plainly declared, that he and the faithful servants, in the present state of Father are one. Had the Jews misun-existence-why then, he asks, may not derstood this declaration, can we for a this phrase, “IN ME" is the Father, and moment believe that, he who stood“ I In him," be regarded as conveying among them for the express purpose of no more than a metaphysical indwelling manifesting to them the character of an union of affection and moral prin Jehovah, would have allowed them to ciples ? To this he replies " A regard continue in their error, without even to the nature and circumstances of the aponce attempting to remove it? But we plication will not permit us to do so." do not find 'Jesus in one single instance The case in question refers not to any attempting any thing of the kind ; on moral quality, but to a oneness of the contrary, we find him, as the con- power,—to a oneness of power for the troversy proceeded, maintaining the performance of works of Omnipotence. same high ground, and appealing to his Thus, by the peculiarity of the case, a own consciousness of unity and equality metaphorical application of the words is with the Most High God, as the ground escluded; and, there is no alternative, on which he acted. On the occasion of but to take them in a strict, proper, and Jesus having healed a lame man on the physical sense, as referring to identity Sabbath, he was charged with a viola- of power, such power as can belong to tion of the fourth commandment. In Deity alone, implying and resting on repelling this charge, he does not, as identity of nature. Hence, then, it fola on some other occasions, "plead the lows, that the title, Son of God, as he character of the work," as being an act of longing to Christ, denotes one who has mercy and beneficence, but adopts a the same essential nature with the Fa
ther; or, in the words which our Lord,, We shall here present our readers so far from refusing, fixed upon hiin- with two circumstances which place self, one who maketh,” or represen- the two systems of Orthodoxy and teth, "himself to be God.”
Unitarianism, as to advantage in In examining those passages of Scrip- point of fair reasoning, in striking conture which elucidate our Lord's use of trast. The discourse of our Lord re. the appellation, the SON OF MAN, Dr. | lated in John vi. 33–63, in which, as Smith appears to adopt that view of this Dr. Smith briefly, but justly states, very important and certainly very diffi-“his design was to break the charm of cult subject, which is commonly deno-destructive ambition, to wean his hearminated, the “ Eternal Generation ers from their low voluptuousness, to Scheme.”. The grounds on which he produce a conviction in their minds of rests his preference of this opinion, the that all-important, but neglected spirireader will find amply stated in Vol. I. tual necessity under which they labourp. 314-318; and, we are ready to con- ed, and to excite them to seek the supfess that, although his criticisms fail in plies of divine grace by humble and convincing us of the justness of his earnest supplication," is, we are persuaviews, they are, from their candour and ded, one of the most offensive passages ingenuity, well worthy of the most to Unitarians which the New Testacareful peruşal. We are far from being ment furnishes. It hangs the weight desirous of inducing controversy on this of man's salvation on the death of subject ; nor, indeed, is this the place Jesus; a doctrine against which, (at for it; but as we have, we trust, à ra- | least according to the view taken of it tional dislike to Socinianism, we do not by almost all professing Christians exfeel quite easy when the Doctor inti-cept the Unitarians,) their united force mates, that the rejection of his opinion is constantly directed. Jesus, as on must involve is in a coincidence with other, indeed on all occasions, was the Unitarian gloss, in interpreting John moved with compassion for the multiiïi. 13. “And no man hath ascended tude to whom this discourse was adup to heaven, but he that came down dressed; he had wrought a miracle to from heaven, even the Son of Man supply their temporal wants, and from which is in heaven." We are perfectly this circumstance took occasion to resatisfied, that the scriptural use of the commend to them the unbounded, the expressions, from heaven, and being, inexpressible love wherewith he loved coming, or descending from heaven, plainly them. They were part of those whom indicates a Divine ORIGIN; Dr. S. “ the Son of Man came to seek and to justly remarks, that this language is save;" and as one who could truly have never applied to any person excepting compassion on the ignorant, and on the Saviour of the world. His coming them who are out of the way-as a from above, is expressly placed in con. Teacher sent from God, he pursues his trast with the personal origin of John, discourse, “ notwithstanding repeated who is, notwithstanding, said to have interruptions, to a clear and perfect been sent from God. The passage, close, so as to afford the idea of having therefore, cannot be understood as re-embraced all the parts of his design; a ferring to a commission to make known design in perfect harmony with the the mind of God; but evidently refers whole conduct of the meek and patient to the Divine mission of Jesus; to his Saviour, who bare the contradiction of coming forth from the ineffable glory sinners against himself, and always to which no mortal ever approached, or shewed the tenderest compassion for can approach: the glory which he had his most malignant enemies." Yet with the Father, before the world was, | Mr. Belsham informs us, that our and to which he ascended when he had | Lord's design was “to shock their preaccomplished upon earth the work judices, to disgust their feelings, and to which he came to perform. In what alienate them from his society!". Let the other light, then, can we view this pas- reader contrast this with the natural, sage, than as containing, on the part of easy, and striking illustration of our our Lord, a plain declaration, that, he Lord's argument respecting the evidence who was at that moment conversing required by the Mosaic law in a litigated with Nicodemus, was the supreme Je- matter, as given by Dr. Smith. “TO hovah, whose presence fills the heavens | this law Jesus refers, John viij. 17, and and the earth?
l in allusion to it he had said, on a previous occasion, that his own testimony | known this Name and Glory was the could not be admitted on his own be chief object of our Lord's labours and half: "If I were to bear witness of my- instructions. But do not the Scriptures self, my testimony would not be worthy in numerous passages represent Jesus of credit;' chap. v. 31. But now he de-as affording an exclusive display of the clares what is apparently a contradiction glory of God; and is it not on this in terms! "If I even bear witness con- ground that he is styled.“ the image of cerning myself, my testimony is worthy the invisible God, and the effulgence of credit. In your law it is written, 1 of his glory?" This manifestation of that the testimony of two persons is the name of God; this display of moral worthy of credit. I am he that bearethi and spiritual excellency, Jesus declares witness concerning myself; and the himself to have accomplished. When Father who hath sent me beareth wit- therefore, Jesus prays that his Father ness concerning me. Was it ever would glorify him, the language which known under any system of law, in any | he uses plainly intimates that he consicourt of judicature, that when the writ- | dered the glorifying of himself by the ten law had prescribed two witnesses as Father as reciprocal to that which he the lowest number admissible, a party had rendered to the Father. This idea in a case should step forward, and de- / is clearly expressed in the words, “ Glomand, upon the footing of that very | rify thy Son, that thy Son also may law, to be accepted as the second wit- glorify thee.- I have glorified thee; and ness in his own favour? Would such now do thou, O Father, glorify me!" a composition of two witnesses be for a If then the glorifying of God was the moment listened to it is of the very | manifesting of his name to the objects essence of juridical testimony, that it I of divine favour, it is obvious that the should be from other persons than the glorifying of Jesus for which he prays, parties to a suit; and the very design of was “the manifestation of His Name; admitting witnesses, is to take the facts the unveiling of THE SAME moral and of a case out of the hands of parties. I spiritual excellence; THE SAME absolute must confess, that I can discover no and infinite perfection, in the person mode of freeing the blessed Jesus from and character of the Son of Go the charge of employing a low and dis- From this reasoning, which the reade ingenuous sophistry, (horrescoreputans!) | will find well supported by the most except the supposition that his mind judicious appeals to Scripture, the referred to that HEAVENLY AND Di-| ference is obvious. But here we wou VINE NATURE which, upon our hypo for a moment pause, and solemnly elle thesis, he was conscious dwelt within treat particular attention to the se him.” pp. 138, 139.
ment which this view of the subject . We shall here shortly notice one evidently involves. The question more argument in favour of our Lord's specting Jesus of Nazareth is no divine origin, which Dr. S. draws from indifferent matter as Doctors F those passages of Scripture-which speak and Priestley would have us be of the glory belonging to Christ. It is The former seemed to think this go an important and unalterable truth, that tion could not be solved in this would the glory of the Supreme Jehovah can. I and the latter does not scruple 10 say: not be given to another. This he him- | that “ If we will but set Jesus down self has declared; nor indeed is there mere man, by whom God acted, any being in the vast creation that can effectually secure the truth of all, in be supposed capable of such communi-rations of Christ's proceeding, Ir. cation. The name of God is a term just as much as if he himself had o used in Scripture, to denote“ his infi- If our appeals are made to! nite and absolute perfection, his fulness mony of Scripture on this suose of all possible excellencies, the total of it is there, and only there, that Jehovah's awful and lovely attributes, any certain information respece. so far as they can be known by finite character of God, we plainly intelligences. The manifestation of those texts which affirin the this name to the universe is the grand the Godhead are not more a purpose of the Most High; " and the their language than those w display, or emanation of the divine excel- | the Divinity of Jesus Christ:.. lency is called in Scripture the glory of already remarked that the gror God.". Now it is obvious, that to make cannot be given to another; and
as if he himself had been God."
d. only there, that we have
nation respecting the
d, we plainly find that which affirm the Unity of d are not more decisive in
e than those which assert of Jesus Christ. We have
hat the glory of God
have seen that this glory, in the proper / quently, in a greater variety of phrase, sense of the term, is given to Jesus ; and would have laid greater stress upon yea, God is even said to be glorified in it. To this Dr. Smith replies, that such the Son of Man. “ The illumination of objections amount to a begging the the knowledge of the glory of God” is questions; since he has already only to be obtained in the face of Christ shewn that Christ did teach this Jesus ; in no other manner hath the in- doctrine, not infrequently, and in visible Jehovah been pleased to reveal a considerable variety of phrase. himself. All his appearances under the As to the explicitness of the declaration, former dispensation had a direct refer- he puts it to any candid Unitarian to ence to this final manifestation of his say whether he would have discerned name: we say final manifestation; for any want of explicitness, had the same there is not one solitary sentence in the phraseology occurred with respect to word of God that warrants us to expect any point now undisputed. “To de that "the only Potentate, the King of mand,” he adds, “ that this doctrine, kings, and Lord of lords, who only supposing it to be true, should have hath immortality, dwelling in the light been taught by our Lord himself in the which no man can approach unto; most clear and decisive manner, is not whom no man hath seen, nor can see," reasonable; for it was of the very will, even to eternity, ever make any genius and character of his ministry, other manifestation of himself than in that by it the peculiar doctrines of the the person of “ THE MAN Christ JE- Christian dispensation should not be sus." Hence when the Scriptures de fully unfolded. That complete maniscribe the consummation of all things; festation was reserved for the ministrawhen the redeemed of the Lord shall tion of the Spirit.” But the grand, the be brought to Zion, to obtain that ex- palmary arguinent, as Dr. S. styles it, ceeding great and eternal weight of the sheet anchor of the Unitarian inglory which is prepared for them, they terpretation of the words in question uniformly represent this eternal felicity is this : “In the language of the sacred as emanating from him who sitteth writers, a being, or a state of things is upon the throne, even from him who | said to Exist, when it is the ETERNAL loved them, and washed them from IMMUTABLE PURPOSE OF GOD THAT IT their sins in his own blood.
SHALL EXIST at the time, and in the Independently of the all-important circumstances which his infinite wisdom truths which this controversy involves, hath chosen and ordained." But this it would amply repay the labour of the last resource is also shewn by Dr. S. to philosopher who, for the sake of observ- be at best but a puerile absurdity; for ing the operations of the human mind, in a series of clear and forcible reashould carefully attend to the reasonings soning he proves that the Prophets did of Unitarians when pressed with serious not “ describe the Messiah as contemdifficulties. To illustrate this point, porary with" themselves; that none of let us just examine the methods to the Jews ever understood their Prophets which some of them have recourse in as representing the Messiah to be their order to evade the force of our Lord's own contemporary; but that both the declaration,_" Before Abraham was, I Prophets themselves, and their countryam.” This declaration by Jesus of his men, through successive generations own existence before Abraham existed, looked forwards to one who was yet to Unitarians interpret, as affirming that COME. “ Cyrus, John the Baptist, and he might be said to have existed as the probably other individuals, were graphiMessiah in the purpose and decree of cally pointed out in the prophecies of God; that is," that he was designated | Isaiah long before they were born; and to his office before Abraham was born." that by expressions in the past, or In support of this opinion, both Mr. present tense. Would it then have been Belsham and Mr. Lindsay urge the ex. proper for either of them to have said, trenie improbability that our Lord would I co-existed with him, for he in prophehave communicated this fact to his tic vision saw my day and rejoiced, &c. enemies, while he concealed it from his Yea, by parity of reason, I may say, I disciples; and argue, that if he had in- existed before the Prophet's birth :--betended in this instance to announce his fore Isaiah was, I was; Į was the depre-existence, he would have taughe liverer of the captives, I was the mesthis extraordinary doctrine more fre-senger of heaven." Yet such is actually the low trifling, the absolute folly, of in the flesh," superior even to that wbich the advocates for this interpre- which they at present exert, to prevent tation represent Jesus as guilty.
men from thinking him to be any thing There is another interpretation of beyond a creature like themselves. this important passage preferred by
(To be continued.] some of the Unitarians, the substance of which is, that our Lord on this occasion clothed his meaning in a species of enigma derived from the signification
Letters and Conversations on Preaching; of the name Abraham, denoting father
including Rules for the Composition of of a numerous multitude, which was
a Sermon, in which the Principles of given to Abram as a prediction of the
the celebrated Claude are illustrated by calling of the Gentiles. As then this
Outlines of Discourses and Quotations prediction was not at that time accom
from the best Authors. By S. T. plished, our Lord is supposed as saying
STURTEVANT. 400 pp. 12mo. 4s. 6d. to the Jews, “ Your great ancestor is
boards. London: R. Baynes, 1822. as yet only yours, not the father of When we first took up this volume, many pations as his name imports. He and began to open the leaves, we found is not yet, in this eminent and final ourselves strongly prompted to quarrel şense, Abraham; though he will soon with it; and' it was not until we had become so, if ye continue to act as ye gone through it and examined the whole have hitherto dune. For your privilege of its contents that we became disarmed shall be taken from you, and given to of all hostility towards the author. Nut nations who will act more worthy of it. that we had the smallest objection to Of them Abraham will be truly the the subject of which it treats; but father, &c. But I now am the promised solely because Mr. Sturtevant has disMessiah plainly before your eyes. There-cussed it in “Letters and Conversafore, verily, verily, I say unto you, at this tions,” for which, it appeared to us, very moment, before Abraham becomes prima facie, altogether unsuitable. But what his name imports, and what he is if he has not made a complete and on the eve of becoming, that I am, the perfect convert of us to the wisdom of Messiah, whom Abraham desired to his plan; it is but justice to him to see, and in whom all nations shall be say, that he has done enough to silence blessed.” This view of the passage is our objections and conciliate our esteem, rejected by Mr. Belsham; it was the which he will probably consider as no production of Lælius, the uncle of small point gained ! Faustus Socinus who seems to have In a sensible and well written Preface imagined that it was communicated by to the volume, the author has assigned special revelation, and in answer to his reasons for undertaking its publimany prayers offered to Christ himself. cation, and they are such as must be To such pitiful shiits are those reduced, allowed to reflect honour on both his who undertake the tremendous task of zeal and disinterestedness. Claude's explaining away the fundamental doc Essay on the Composition of a Sermon, trines of the gospel. Such “ childish is well known and deservedly esteemed. punning as this might do very well in It contains excellent rules and directious the mouths of such men as Count for assisting young Ministers in their Volney, or his humble imitator, Sir preparations for the pulpit; but it can William Drummond, member of his only be procured in connection with Majesty's Privy Council," &c. &c. but Mr. Robinson's farrago of Notes, at the it forms a most hideous association price of a guinea and a half; or, as prewhen connected with the profession of hxed to Mr. Simeon's Skeletons of Ser: Christianity. Of this interpretation, mons, at an equal, or still greater prices however, the more sensible among the But the present day abounds with "a Unitarians are ashamed, as thcy are goodly company" of plain, unlettered also of many of Dr. Priestley's extra- | preachers of the gospel, out of wbuse vagancies. Let us hope that the time reach those works are placed on various is not far distant, when they will be accounts. A republication of the Essay, ashamed of many interpretations of therefore, in a cheap form, in which its Scripture in which they now indulge, principles should be amplified and illusand when they will exhibit a zeal for trated, was certainly a desideratum, which the honour and glory of “God inanifest it is the object of this volume to supply.