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tion given to our Lard, must be entirely useless; and not only entirely useless, but every way calculated to lead the mind to some apprehension, or vain imagination,
The Doctor asks, “is there any part of the scriptures in which it is plainly said that the divine nature of Jesus was the Son of God ?" We answer in the affirmative, there is. And in the language of Mr. Fletcher, “he layed down his life" in defence of this doctrine, this truth; and “ sealed it with the blood of human nature." It will be unnecessary to recapitulate here what we have put down in reference to this point in the preceding pages of this volume. And we refer the reader to the views of Mr. Fletcher, which we calculate to annex to this volume, which he addressed to a Socinian. Remarking here, that if it should not be proved on examination of these, that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his divine nature; we refer to the succeeding articles of faith, or creed which he has subscribed to as a member of the church of England, which we shall annex and consider, so far forth, as they refer to the point in question.
1st Article on the Trinity. s6 There is but one living and true God, without body or parts, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the maker and preserver of all things, both visible and invisible; and in unity of this God-head, there are three persons, of one substance, power and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”
We would ask the Doctor if this Son, of which the article speaks, is the same Son which he says was created in the womb of the virgin? we would ask him, if the Son which he says was
created, tras of the substance of the Father, one with him in power and eternity? Does it take the human nature of Jesus Christ to compose the Trinity? If so, there was no Trinity until the Son of God was created in the womb of the virgin. He states, that if Jesus Christ is the Son of God, he is not Eternal; yet the article states, that he is of the same substance, power and Eternity of the Father. But should the Doctor say that the term Son in the first article, has reference to Jesus Christ after he came in the flesh. We answer, the next article will convince him of his mistake.
2d Article. * The Son, who is the Word of the Father, begotten of him, from everlasting, the very and Eternal God, of one substance with the Father, took man's nature in the womb of the blessed virgin, of her substance,” &c.
In this article of the English articles, the Methodist discipline, has omitted eight words, viz. "Begotten of him from everlasting,” and 6 of her substance.”
The first begotten from Everlasting, we think has certain reference to the divine nature of our Lord, and not to the human nature, and so reads the article; “The Son, who is the Word of the Father, the very and Eternal God, begotten of him from everlasting,”. &c.
The Doctor acknowledges, the Word that “was with God, and was God," was the divine nature of our Lord; and let it be remembered the article states “ the Son who is the Word of the Father.”
The article, therefore, proyes, that the church of England, believed, that the Sonship of our Lord referred to his divino nature, not only so, but it states, that the same character took man's an ture in the womb of the virgin of her substance. How different is this doctrine, from the idea that the Son of God was created in the womb of the blessed virgin.
We shall now look at the next article of the Trinity. It is as follows
“The Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty and glory with the Father, and the Son, very and eternal God.” Two remarks in this article, are worthy of our notice, viz. “The Holy Ghost proceeding from the Father and Son." Does the Holy Ghost, we will ask, proceed from the divine nature of our Lord, or from the human nature? If it proceeds from the Son and the divine nature, it proves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his divine nature; and if it proceeds from the human nature, it proves that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his human nature.If the Holy Ghost proceeds from the human nature of Jesus Christ, it proves the Holy Ghost to be part human and part divine, for which we presume the Doctor would not contend.
Perhaps it will be objected to by those who believe with the Doctor in this point, that he does not fully believe in the English articles. We thought this might be fact; for it is scarcely possible, for a man to believe in the articles of the church of England, and hold, and advocate the tenets he advances in his notes, we have cited. One thing has caused us much grief, and sorrow of heart, and this is, christians of different orders, contending for the doctrines he has advanced; viz. denying Jesus Christ as the Son of God
in his divine nature, and at the same time prou fessing to be trinitarians; and breathing out slanders against all that dissent from them in opinion, and branding them with the name Unitarian, Arian, Socinian, and possibly Deism, when at the same time the characters who have to bear this slander, are preaching the exact doctrine contained in the Trinitarian articles. These charges have been constantly brought against us as an order of people, by those characters, who believe with Doctor Clarke, respecting the Sonship of Jesus Christ. We do not mean to prefer this charge against the Doctor, neither wholly against any one order of christians. We take pleasure in saying the Doctor, has disclosed his views with great meckness, and commendable modesty. He says, “ I trust I may be permitted to say with all due respect, for those who differ from me, that the doctrine of the Eternal Sonship is anti-scriptural, and dangerous ;" he then assigns his reasons for rejecting the doctrine.
Further views of the same subject, in continuation.
The first of which is, “I have not been able to find any express declaration in scripture concerning it.” We hope this reason is satisfactorily answered in the preceding part of this work; if not satisfactory, the two chapters from Mr. Fletcher which we annex, will, we think, remove all lingering doubts.
We think it scarcely worth while to repeat here his reasons, as they are transcribed into this work. We are the more sensitive on this doctrine, because we believe, and especially in his 4th reason, and tenor of the whole, that if valid, he destroys the God-head, and the Trinity entirely. His remarks, however, we think more curious, than sound. He has given us copcessions of sundry doctrines which oversets his own conclusions, and system. He says “the divine nature had no beginning,” if the Doctor had kept this in view, and
his ideas of the nature of generation out of view, he would have been saved all his trouble and difficulty. The simple question is, if Jesus Christ is the proper Son of God the Father, does he not partake of the fullness of the God-head as really, as absolutely, and in every sense as fully and inherently as God the Father?