Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

BOSTON:

JAMES MUNROE & CO., 134 WASHINGTON STREET.

OCTOBER, 1844.

Price 5 Cents.

I. R. BUTTS, PRINTER, SCHOOL STREET.

UNITARIANISM,

THE FAITH OF THE APOSTLES.

There is none other God but One; for though there be that are called Gods, whether in heaven or in earth—(as there be gods many and lords many) — but to us [there is but] ONE GOD, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in bim; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. 1 CORINTHIANS viii. 4-6,

THIS important passage contains the sum and substance of the doctrine taught by the Apostle Paul, respecting the Unity of God, the sole Deity of the Father, and the divine mission of our Lord Jesus Christ; and it therefore forms an appropriate introduction to a discourse, the object of which is to prove that the faith which the inspired Apostles of our holy religion believed and taught, was no other than pure Unitarianism.

The testimony afforded by these illustrious men, who were the first depositories of the Christian doctrine, may be divided into two portions: that which they afforded antecedently to the miraculous effusion of the Holy Spirit upon them; and that which they bore afterwards, and

[ocr errors]

which we find recorded in the Book of their Acts, and in their own writings.

On the first period I shall very briefly touch: partly because it may well be assumed, that during our Lord's personal intercourse with them, their opinions could not differ materially from those which he himself inculcated, which we have already seen were strictly Unitarian; and partly because many persons would probably regard as inconclusive, any arguments founded upon the testimony of the Apostles before they had received the gift of the Holy Spirit. 1 admit that they would be inconclusive, were it not for two circumstances: first, that the declarations to which I refer, received the full assent of our Saviour himself; and secondly, that they are afterwards recorded by the disciples, without any remark, showing that their first impressions were erroneous. To prove, however, the perfect harmony subsisting on this point ti.roughout the whole New Testament, I shall lay before you a few extracts from the Gospels, illustrating the opinions which the Apostles entertained during our Lord's personal stay among them. I shall first bring forward some passages in which they expressly state their opinions, and afterwards allude to the indirect testimony afforded by their usual conduct and language.

There are, in the Gospels, four passages, in which the immediate disciples of our Lord have expressly stated the opinions which they entertained respecting their Divine Master; and it is remarkable that each of them is in exact accordance with the Unitarian doctrine.

In the Gospel according to John we read, that after the Apostle Andrew had become a disciple of Christ, "he findeth his brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have

found the Messiah, which is being interpreted, the Christ," John i. 41. This was his opinion respecting the character of the Saviour. He regarded him as the Messiah, the Anointed, the Christ, the Messenger of God. This is exactly what Unitarians believe. The next testimony is to the same effect. The Apostle "Philip findeth Nathaniel, and saith unto him, We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write, Jesus of Nazareth the Son of Joseph," John i. 45. The third testimony of this kind is the confession made by the Apostle Peter, in the name of all the rest, when our Saviour expressly questioned them respecting their views of his person and character: saying unto them, "But whom say ye that I am?' And Simon Peter answered and said, 'Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God!'" Matt. xvi. 16. This was a strictly Unitarian declaration; yet it received the high approbation of our Lord." Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven," Matt. xvi. 17. The last express and formal statement which I find in the Gospels, is that given by the two disciples who journeyed to Emmaus, on the day of our Lord's resurrection. They spoke of him as "a prophet mighty in word and deed, before God and all the people;" and they said they trusted it had been he who should have redeemed Israel," Luke xxiv. 19, 21.

I pass over these important passages almost without remark; for it can hardly fail to strike any one who attends to them, how very far they fall short of the commonly received doctrine respecting the person of the Son of God; and how accurately they express the Unitarian views of the subject. I proceed, therefore, to remark that the NO. 207. 1*

VOL. XVIII.

« ForrigeFortsæt »