Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

religion that provides for the equal happiness of the other sex, and counteracts that disposition to degrade the female character, which all other religions have discovered. “ For unless a man can consider woman as a partaker of the immortality of the Gospel, and · as being an heir together with him of the grace of life,'—(1 Pet.)—he will not account her his equal, or as entitled to equal honour. He will estimate her being in the scale merely of brute strength, and of intellectual power; that is, he will con. sider her as his inferior, and as formed to be the slave of his pleasures.-And, we may add, the infidelity of Eu. ropeans tends directly to the same result. It is on record in the annals of nations, that philosophy, as well as idolatry, thus debased the female sex. Christianity alone ever did, Christianity alone ever can, give due honour to the character of Woman, and exalt her to her just place in the creation of God."*

Having shortly reviewed the Evidences, let us now proceed to consider the doctrines of Christianity. Of these the first is, the Doctrine of the Trinity.

Dr. Buchanan's Christian Researches, p. p. 56, 57.

THE TRINITY.

Those who embrace this doctrine are generally called Trinitarians, from their believing that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, though three Divine Persons, are but One God. The doctrine of the Trinity, therefore, comprehends these two points—First, That the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are Divine Persons; Deity being in Scripture equally ascribed to each of them ;-Second, That they are not Three Gods, but One God.

First.— The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, are Di. vine Persons, the attributes of Deity being equally ascribed to each of them. Our limits will only admit a small number of the proofs by which this doctrine is established. The Deity of the Father never having been questioned by any man who professed Christianity, it would be un. necessary to prove what has never been denied. The Deity of the Son is proved by many of the most sublime descriptions of Jehovah in the Old Testament, having been referred to the Son in the New. The prophet Isaiah 6 saw Jehovah sitting on a throne high and lofty, and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above bim stood the seraphim ; each one of them had six wings, with two of them he covered his face; with two of them he covered his feet; and two of them he useth in flying. And they cried alternately, and said, Holy, holy, holy Jehovah, God of Hosts! the whole earth is filled with his glory.”— Isaiah, vi. 1, 2, 3.— Bishop Lowth's translation. One of the Evangelists tells us, that in this vision Isaiah saw the glory of Christ, and spake of Him.--John, xii. 40, 41. The Psalmist, by the spirit of God, uses this form of address,—" Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: the sceptre of thy kingdom is a right sceptre.”—xiv. 6. The Apostle to the Hebrews applies the words directly to Christ.—Heb. i. 8. To elude the force of this text some have, very inconsiderately, rendered it “God is thy throne for ever and ever.” We say very inconsiderately, for while it is evident their design was to sink the Saviour into a creature, they have, .unawares, exalted him even above the Father. The heaven is said to be the Father's throne, but they make God to be the Saviour's throne; raising his throne above the Father's. The prophet Joel declares “that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered.”-ii. 32. The Apostle applies this decla. ration to Christ.—Rom. x. 13. “O taste and see that Jehoyah is good,” says the Psalmist.—xxxiv. 8. These words the Apostle Peter applies to the Saviour.—1 Peter. ii. 3. In the prophecy of Isaiah, God thus speaks, “ Thus saith Jehovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Je. hovah of Hosts, I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.”-xliv. 6. When our blessed Saviour appeared to the Apostle John, he appropriated these words to himself,—“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” To add only one more proof of this kind, when God appeared to Moses, and gave him his commission to rescue the Israelites from their bondage in Egypt, he thus declares his name,“ God said unto Moses, I am that I am: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, I am hath sent meun to you.”—Exod. iii. 14. Even upon the supposition that our Saviour was nothing more than a good man and a prophet, he must have known that the expression, I am, was the incommunicable name of Jehovah, and that it could not without blasphemy be applied to a creature. Yet we find him, in a conversation with the Jews, claiming this very name as his right, - Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I am.* Had our Saviour said, before Abraham was, I was, the expression would certainly have proved, that he existed before Abraham. But our Saviour's words are, before Abraham was, I am. The Jews immediately understood his words to be a claim of equality with God, and treated it as such. " Then took they up stones to cast at him.”— 59. Bishop Sherlock, speaking of this claim, asks, “What now could tempt our Saviour to use and apply this expression to himself ? He knew it never had been applied to any but God, and would have been, in man so applying it, in the highest degree committing the robbery of making himself equal with God; besides, the words are a mere solecism, and, according to the analogy of language, express nothing: no idea belongs to them; for a man cannot in his mind carry the present time back, and make it antecedent to the time already past; and therefore to say, Before such a thing was, I am, is shuffling ideas together, which can have no place in the mind or understanding. If, therefore, you admit the expression to have any meaning, you must allow the I am to belong to Christ, in its proper and peculiar use, as signifying eternity and permanency of duration.”+

Omnipresence, which is an incommunicable attribute of the Deity, our Saviour claims when he says, “ Lo, I am

• John, vin, 58.

† Discourse L, Part 1. on Philip. II, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.

with you alway, unto the end of the world.”—Matthew, xxviii. And again, “ Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”— Math. xviii. 20, Omniscience is repeatedly ascribed to him. “ Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man; for he knew what was in man.” Again, “We are sure that thou knowest all things.”—John, ii. 25; and xvi. 30. His knowledge of the Father he represents as equally perfect as the Father's knowledge of him. “ As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father.”John, x. 15. Our Saviour represents himself as having life in himself, even as the Father hath life in himself.John, v. 26. He calls himself “the resurrection and the life.”—John, xi. 25. It is the command of the Father, " that all should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father.”—John, v. 23. He is that Jehovah whom all the Angels of God are commanded to worship.—Psalm xcvii. 7, compared with Heb. i. 6. One of his disciples thus addressed him, “ My Lord and my God.”—John, xx. 28. He is the Word who was in the beginning with God, and who was God.—John, i. 1. “In him dwelleth all the fulness of the God-head bodily.”—Coloss. ii. 9. To him as well as to the Father all created intelligences are represented as ascribing blessing, honour, glory, and power for ever and ever.—Rev. v. 13. Lest any person should suppose our Saviour's Divinity was subordinate and inferior, his claim is thus stated,— He thought it no robbery to be equal with God.”—Philip. ii. 6. The Apostle to the Hebrews declares that he is “ The brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, and upholdeth all things by the word of his power.”--i. 2. Him, St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr, with his expiring

« PoprzedniaDalej »