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of God by one party, and its affirmation by the other; but it arises from the views which are entertained respecting Christ the Word, and the Holy Ghost the Comforter. This controversy can be settled only by an appeal to the Sacred Scriptures, as it must be admitted that natural religion gives no intimation whatever of a Mediator or a Sanctifier. The necessity of each to fulfil the separate offices which they sustain might at least be shown to be probable, and our arguments be based upon the perfections of Deity as discoverable by the light of nature, and upon the present moral condition of the human race; but prior to the communication of a revelation, we had no knowledge of the existence of a Mediator or Sanctifier ; and consequently none of the harmony which appears to us now to subsist between the evil to be remedied and the agency actually engaged in the economy of grace for that purpose. Our opponents cannot then be considered as acting justly by us, when they thus endeavour to shift the question from its fair and legitimate ground, taking for granted that we controvert a principle which we believe as firmly as they do themselves. We believe in the numerical unity of deitythis is necessary to the very existence of that system of opinions which we entertain, and which we believe to be in perfect accordance with the declarations of the word of God; nor have we ever known of
Trinitarian maintaining the doctrine of Tritheism : so soon, in fact, as any person does that, he that moment ceases to be a Trinitarian ; nor are we any more accountable for his opinions than we are for those of a Mahometan; and consequently he stands as much opposed to us as does the Socinian. Let not Unitarians, then, make use of this mode of argumentation, we should say, of misrepresentation, because such conduct makes them appear as if conscious of the weakness of that cause which they are compelled to support by means which every
honest man must repudiate as unjust, and deserving only of contempt.
The Unitarian, in conducting his argument, besides being guilty of the pernicious practice to wbich we have just alluded, falls into another logical mistake equally egregious and unphilosophical
. In discussing the doctrine of the Deity of the Word," he imagines, if he could prove that Supreme Deity cannot, upon Scripture testimony, be predicated of him, he has then gained a victory over his Trinitarian adversary; whereas, could he even effect that, he would then only be stepping upon the threshold of the real subject of controversy. He must also show from Scripture evidence who Christ is,
and what character of dignity he sustains, otherwise he has merely proved a negative from which no positive consequence can be deduced; he must also prove that the Scriptures reveal him to us a created intelligence, possessed of that peculiar order of dignity of which Arians speak, or he must establish upon the same grounds that he is a mere man,
and nothing more than a man, in accordance with the opinions of Socinians. Suppose in the ethical controversy respecting the nature of virtue, we might be able to prove that utility was not its basis, would we then be at liberty to draw the conclusion, that it consisted in disinterested benevolence ? No, certainly not; we would, even after having effected this, be necessitated to establish the truth of our own theory, and meet the objections which our opponents might be able to urge against it, before we would be logically at liberty to draw such a conclusion. The same observation is equally valid, with regard to the doctrine of the Deity of Christ; although it could be proved not to be true, that would not establish the truth of either the Arian or Socinian hypothesis. Each of these also might be proved to be untrue, and opposed to Scripture testimony, m what then, we ask, would be the legitimate conclusion to which the controversialists alone could come ?--why, that none of the three opinions was true; but beyond this they could not proceed in drawing any just and logical consequence. It must be evident from these observations, that it is necessary for each sect not only to refute the systems of others, but also to establisln the truth of their own, in opposition to the objections preferred against it by its adversaries. Trinitarians have uniformly pursued this honest, upright mode of conducting the controversy; but the Unitarian sect, compounded by some sort of ecclesiastical chemistry of Arians and Socinians, has almost always skulked from the attempt to prove the truth, by positive Scripture evidence, of those doctrines and those imaginary theories which are peculiar to it.
There is always considerable ambiguity attached to our language when we make use of the term Unitarian, even when we apply it to that sect by whom the title has been “ usurped. When we charge the Unitarians of this country with the opinions advocated by their “English brethren,' they turn round upon us, and say—no, we are not Humanitarians or Socinians. When again we call them Arians, they in general object to that also, and claim the title of Unitarians. In England, the term was first used—it was afterwards assumed by a party in this country so that we conceive we have a perfect right, unless they give us the meaning which they attach to the title, to assume that their opinions are the same as the rank Socinian doctrines of their “ English brethren,” who are called by the same name. Otherwise, the term is one to which no definite meaning has been attached ; and if so, we must bring the charge of dishonesty, coupled with a design to impose upon and delude the publie, against those ministers and people of the “northern counties,” by whom the title has been now “usurped.” But, that we may treat them with all possible candour, we may regard the body as being compounded of two component ingredients-Arianism and Socinianism; perhaps we might add a third-Deism, as all Deists, who wish to make any show of religion, uniformly connect themselves with Unitarian congregations—if any such be within their neighbourhood—and sometimes even exert themselves to further the interests of that party, in whose prosperity they always rejoice.
We need not, however, wonder at this, in consequence of the very close resemblance which subsists between the two theories: the one adhering to reason and the light of nature alone-the other receiving only so much of revelation as this reason and the light of nature can satisfactorily explain and bring down to the humble level of ordinary human comprehension. It is on this account that we always find Deists rejoicing at the advancement of Unitarianism, so great is the moral, sympathetic affinity which appears to subsist between the two systems. Nay, it would not be difficult to show, that the very same arguments which Arians and Socinians foolishly consider sufficient to overthrow Trinitarianism, if valid in that case, would also be equally, if not more strong and unanswerable, when applied to the demolition of Christianity itself. It might also be shown, that if the Scriptures do not, by their declarations, prove the Deity of the Word, neither do they reveal any being as possessed of supreme deity; because the same arguments and the same principles of interpretation which are made use of by Unitarians, for the purpose of depriving the Son of Deity, would be equally applicable to the subject, if the object were to divest the Father of his Deity.
In endeavouring to establish any particular doctrine of revelation, we require, as we before observed, not merely negative, but also positive evidence. The Arian, in every instance, however, merely resorts to the former: he imagines, if he can make it appear that the Word is not God, or raise a few objections to that doctrine, he has then decided the controversy; whereas, this does not constitute the one-half of the work which he has to accomplish. Let the question be put, what dignity of being does the Son sustain ? and let him answer the question categorically and positively; and according to his own system, he must declare that he simply believes him to be one of the highest order of created intelligences; but withal, a creature, contingent in his being, and dependent, as every other created thing necessarily must be, upon the Great First Cause of all for his existence. Now we would ask the Arian to establish the truth of this from the positive declarations of the word of God; and we are much mistaken if he can point out to us one single text, which, by any legitimate mode of interpretation, can be regarded as direct testimony in favour of his particular views. Such testimony, we conceive, the Scriptures do not afford, otherwise Arians would long ere this have adduced it. Let him try it now, and we are aware that not one single passage of directly affirmative proof can be brought forward by him. The system is totally built upon negatives; is defended by negatives; and is itself a direct negation of all Scripture testimony respecting the essential dignity of the Messiah. But the Arians may turn round upon us, and say-give you to us positive testimony, in confirmation of the truth of your opinions, upon this subject ? This is a fair demand, and compliance with it is not by any means difficult.
66 The Word was God'' is at once our ready and scriptural reply. Now let us demand of them to bring us forward one solitary passage in which it is asserted that “ The Word was” NOT “ God;" but they will search in vain for this : no such passage occurs in all the volume of revelation. He
in which Christ is spoken of as a man: but the truths contained in these are not by any means opposed to the Trinitarian creed ; nay, so far is it to the contrary, that the doctrine which they assert, forms an integral part of the Trinitarian system. Besides, it must at once appear evident to every person who is even superficially acquainted with the bearings of the controversy, that this doctrine of the human nature of the Son, and the passages of Scripture which go to prove its truth, are totally at variance with, and completely overthrow, the Arian hypothesis. So far as the Scriptures satisfactorily prove the truth of the doctrine of the human nature of the Son of God, just so far do they go to prove the truth of Trinitarianism, and so far do they lend their sanction to the demolition of Arianism. In like manner do other passages, referring to the same subject, which are usually quoted by Arians, go to overthrow the system which they are brought forward to establish.
One other peculiarity of the same system is generally overlooked ; and that is, the indwelling of this antecedently existing, super-angelic intelligence in the human nature of the Messiah. The Arian maintains that this intelligence was in like relation to his human nature as the soul of man is to his body; but if this be the case, he could not by any possibility have been a man; and, therefore, wherever the Scriptures speak of him as such, they distinctly and unequivocally refute the Arian theory. But where do we find any passage of Scripture, which, even by the most tortuous mode of interpretation, can be considered as lending any support whatever to this imaginary hypothesis—that an intelligence, antecedently existing, of the highest order of creatures, inhabited the body of the man Christ Jesus ? No such passage can be found; yet Arians maintain the doctrine, directly opposed, as it is, to reason, common sense, and revelation.
But our limits are so circumscribed, that we are compelled to hasten to the other phases which Unitarianism presents. If Unitarians do not concur in the belief of the doctrines usually denominated Arian, they must necessarily entertain those which are designated Socinian or Humanitarian ;-that is, they believe that Jesus Christ was a mere man, and in all respects and relations only a man, differing in no attribute of being from his common brethren of the human species ;-and that prior to his appearance upon this earth, he had no existence. It must be evident that there is a considerable difference between the Arian doctrine and this; yet both agree in believing that Christ, the Word, was a mere created being, differing, however, widely respecting the time of his creation and the dignity of his nature. This latter system is so completely unsupported by the whole tenor of Scripture, when interpreted by the legitimate rules of exegesis, that we consider it as undeserving of a serious refutation. Its supporters, like the Arians, frequently deal in negative proof; and even in drawing their conclusions from the passages of Scripture which they adduce in support of their theory, they proceed upon an utter fallacy in their argument. They suppose, when they have proved the doctrine of the human nature of Christ as being
revealed in the Scriptures, that then they have accomplished the establishment of their system. This is really the case with regard to the Arian, but certainly not with regard to the Trinitarian. With regard to the latter, such arguments are