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peace," when there was no peace." It may be justly said to such instructers, "With lies ye have made the heart of the righteous sad, whom I have not made sad; and strengthened the hands of the wicked, that he should not return from his wicked way, by promising him life." Ez. 13. 22. A system, whose most prominent feature is to lessen human guilt, and to lead mankind to rely on another foundation for salvation besides the atonement of Christ, is certainly hostile to the Scriptures in a high degree. An Apostle says, "By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast." Eph. 2. 8, 9.
If any religious scheme on the face of the earth is false and dangerous, and opposite to the Gospel of Christ, it is Anti-Trinitarianism in its lowest Socinian form. It is, I hope, in friendship to them, as well as to the cause of the Redeemer, that I speak in this manner. I am not conscious of having the least malevolence towards any one of that denomination. They may rely on every act of kindness that I can render them, in accordance with a faithful testimony against their doctrine. If I know my own heart, I wish them to be happy here and hereafter; not excepting the gentleman who has appeared as my opponent. I have no apprehension that he has taken this stand from any unkind feelings to me; for his deportment has been uniformly conciliating and respectful.
My prayer is, that the Lord may lead him into a belief of the truth, and to the love of it; that he may follow the steps of the famous Dr. Scott, who once stood on the same untenable ground in relation to religious sentiments.-AMEN.
GALATIANS IV. 17.
They zealously affect you, but not well.
IN Illustrating the baneful effects of Anti-Trinitarian doctrines, on the hearts and lives of men, it has been shown,
1. That they lead them to treat the Holy Scriptures, with an unbecoming freedom-to deny much of their contents, and to believe very little-to have wrong views of the glorious character of God; and to have wrong conceptions of the state and character of men. These are serious evils; but I think, that they have been fully substantiated; and therefore I shall proceed in showing,.
5. How the system in view, leads men to have low conceptions of Jesus Christ, and consequently, but a small degree of love to his name. It seems to be a point decided in the minds of the Anti-Trinitarians, that He is nothing but a man. They can of course have no belief in the atoning efficacy of his blood; nor, with consistency, render to Him supreme worship. He can have but little pre-eminence in their view, to the Prophets and Apostles. They suppose him, indeed, to have been sent of God to teach men truth and duty by his precepts and example; and that he sealed his mission by his death. On this calculation, however, he Нн
only stands first on the list of human, but divinely authorized messengers from God. We cannot, therefore, be much more indebted to him, than to many others, who have appeared in the capacity of divine instructors, on the plan in question. Surely, the Anti-Trinitarians themselves must be at a loss, how to understand and define the measure of love which men owe to the Lord Jesus Christ. If he is no more than a creature, the love which belongs to him from men, must be infinitely less than that which is due to God. On the Anti-Trinitarian plan, great care must be taken, lest the love that is felt for Christ exceeds its due limits; and the reverence that is given to him, degenerate into idolatry. On this ground, however, they do not seem to be in much danger of erring; for, it appears to be a prominent feature in their scheme, to sink his dignity instead of deifying him; and all the teachers on that side of the question, seem to be on the alert in giving it the proper application. In general, they are coolly philosophising on the supposed impossibility of his deity, instead of bowing the knee to him in supreme worship. We may search the ranks of the Anti-Trinitarian host in vain, to find any bright examples of love to the Son of God! No; it is their constant employment to throw water on this divine flame.
The contrast between the teachers in their Israel and the inspired writers, in relation to the dignity of Christ, and the love which is due to his name, is astonishingly great. Do they say that he is a mere man? see how the prophet Isaiah differs from them on this subject. While he admits his humanity, he announces his divinity in accents of triumph; saying, "Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given and the government shall be upon his shoulder; and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of peace."
Isa. 9. 6. All the statements of Scripture, relating to the complete Person of Christ, run in a similar strain of exultation. St. John says of Him, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.-All things were made by Him.-In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.-That was the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world. The Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory." John 1. 1, 3, 9, 14. Under divine authority, St. Paul asserts, that "He is over all, God blessed forever." Rom. 9. 5.-"That by Him all things were created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him: and He is before all things, and by him all things consist." Gal. 1. 16, 17. That He hath a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth." Phil. 2. 9, 10. The Father himself, saith unto the Son, "Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever. And thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the works of thine hands." Heb. 1. 8, 10. This is but a mere specimen, however, of what the Scriptures say, in relation to the Person and dignity of Christ. We meet with no such sayings, in the works of Anti-Trinitarian authors. Such language would be to them an abomination.
The Holy Scriptures are equally express, as to the degree of love which we owe to the glorious Redeemer. In them, Christ says to us, "He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me; and he that loveth son or daughter more than me, is not worthy of me." Matth. 10. 37. In Luke, it is said, "Yea; his own life also." Chap. 14. 26. A supreme love to Jesus Christ, is
the most prominent feature in the character of his disciples. To that class of men, St. Peter says of Christ, "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory." 1 Pet. 1. 8. In relation to this, St. Paul says, "If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maran-atha." 1 Cor. 16. 22. Again, he says, "Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity." Eph. 6. 24. But to such views of the Redeemer's Person, and such love to his name, the Anti-Trinitarians appear to be utter strangers. In fact, Dr. Priestley says, "In no sense whatever, not even in the lowest of all, is Christ so much as called God in all the New Testament." He is not, therefore, in the Dr.'s esteem, so highly honored as some men, of whom the Lord saith, "Ye are gods." Such a low opinion of Christ's Person, never can lead those who have it, to render any great degree of love to his name. Seeing the whole body of Anti-Trinitarians appear to admire Dr. Priestley, it must follow, that they agree with him in respect to Christ's Person, and the degree of love to which he is entitled.
But let their views and feelings be compared with the following ascription of praise which is offered to Christ in heaven; namely, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain, to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing." Rev. 4. 12. The dread of the Anti-Trinitarians of becoming guilty of idolatry, must forever prevent them from saying, Amen.
Thus, my hearers, a system, whose tendency is to chill our love to Christ, must be considered as having a baneful effect on true piety. Real christians, therefore, must view every degree of approximation to it, with a holy fear. But,
6. It is necessary to show how the theory in question,