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Many of the foregoing remarks may
be applied to the defence made afterwards by our Apostle before king Agrippa and Feftus I: I think it unnecessary therefore to cite it. It will suffice to observe, or rather to repeat, that, asserting the doctrine of the resurrection in general, and particularly that of Jesus Chrift, St. Paul at one and the same time infinuates himself into the good graces of such as were pharifaically disposed ; and points to a fact, the admission of which, upon full and dispassionate enquiry, must lead all that heard him, all the Jews at least into a train of conclusions, necessarily comprehending the great truths of the Gospel. And that this was a much more judicious mode of conviction than the direct or positive assertion of all, or any of those truths could have been, I presume, I need not stay to prove.
When St. Paul some time after this expounded and testified the kingdom of God to the Jews at Rome, persuading them concerning feJus both out of the law of Moses, and out of the
prophets, I we cannot say with any precision how much of the whole scheme of Christianity he laid before them. Most probably his usual discretion directed him to deal tenderly with them at first; though when he declared to the unbelieving part of them that the Salvation of God was sent unto the Gentiles, the
expression has evident reference to that scheme; as, suitably hereto, the history of the Apostolical Acts concludes with an account of his receiving all that came in unto him for two whole years, and preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ.
This minute and circumstantial survey of the history of the Asts of the Apostles, so far as it is connected with our present subject, will, I apprehend, throw much light upon the same. And it will receive additional lustre from the following confideration : that, as in the Holy Scriptures, fo in the writings of the Apostolical Fathers, the leading truths of Christianity are incidentally mentioned, or
| Acts xxviii, 23, 31.
alluded to, and not systematically, but uniformly taught. The doctrine of these Fathers is delivered in the spirit of fimplicity ; it appears plainly to have been the standing doctrine of the Church; nor is there a single circumstance that will incline us to suspect them of a design to obtrude their own private opinions, or conceits, upon the Christian world. This to me seems demonstrable from a very observable particular ; which is, that in their writings they do not cite all, or the principal texts which are adduced in maintenance of the doctrine of the Trinity, but affert the same in other terms, and in language fully equivalent. They evidently considered it, not as requiring proof, but deserving illustration. Ignatius, in the introduction to his Epistle to the Ephefans, falutes them “ according to the will of the Father, " and Jesus Christ our God.” The same Father wishes the Romans to “ permit him to " imitate the passion of his God;” or, of Chrijt his God, as it stands in the Original. In the above-mentioned Epistle to the Ephefans, he takes occasion thus to express him
self. .". There is one physician, both fleshly “ and spiritual; made and not made; God “ INCARNATE; true life in death ; both of
Mary and of God; first passible, then im
pafsible ; even Jefus Christ our Lord.” (n) In the conclusion of his Epistle to the Magnesans, he injoins them to “be subject to “ their bishop, as Jesus Christ to the Father, -“ according to the flesh, and the Apostles “ both to Christ, and to the Father, and to " the Holy Ghost.” This inversion is a very -remarkable one. In his Epistle to: Polycarp he'exhorts him “ to consider the times, and “ expect him who is above all time, eternal, “ invisible, &c.” Were there occasion, much more to the same purpose might be extracted - from this venerable Father.
Polycarp in his Epistle to the Philipians, wishes them to be “ subject to the Priests, “ &c. as unto God and Christ."
In St. Clement's first epistle to the Corinthjans. these passages occur. · The sceptre of
+ Romans i. 3.
“the majesty of God, our Lord Jesus Chrift, “came not in the shew of pride," &c. &c. The second section of the same epistle proceeds in the terms following: 66 Ye were “ all of you humble-minded, &c. desiring “ rather to be subject than to govern, &c.
being content with the portion God had dispensed to you, and hearkening dili
gently to his word, ye were enlarged “ in your bowels, having his SUFFERINGS
always before your eyes." This passage is not unsimilar to part of St. Paul's discourse at Miletus to the elders of the church of Ephesus, before subinitted to your consideration. Let us see now what this Father says in his other epistle to the Corinthians. The exordium of it is this—“ Brethren, we ought " so to think of Jesus Christ as of God &c.” In the third paragraph he quotes these words of our blessed Saviour ; Whosoever shall confess me before men, him will I confess before my Father. But, continues he, " Wherein “ must we confess him ? Namely, in doing “ those things which he faith, &c. by worshipping him, not with our lips only, but