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the Logos? (Word.) Words are the medium of communication: And this appellation is given to Christ: “In the beginning was the Word.” Certainly, then, Christ was the Revealer of the Godhead to man, under the Old Testament. So the Bible decides. “Neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to wbomsoever the Son will reveal him.” “No man hath seen God at ang time; the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, be hath declared him.” “I have manifested thy name unto the men that thou gavest me.” The Father, it seems, then, officially keeps the place of the invisible God; and Christ, the Logos, is the Re vealer of the Father. Surely he is the Mediator between God and man. In these offices, then, we learn which is the one, and which is the other, of the first two persons of the Godhead. And, to vary this plain bible distinction, and to say, that the Father did, for some thousands of years (after the fall of man) come forth as his own Revealer, and his own Angel, and Captain of his own hosts, or King of Israel, seems an unwarrantable confounding of the great official distinction between those two Divine Persons. Christ, in those ancient appearances, was the Brightness of the Father's glory. Why should the Father be represented as coming forth

person ally, the Brightness of his own glory, “in every Divine appearance under the Old Testament?” Why, should Christ be thus put out of his office; and the Father be put into it?

Let one more inference of this writer be noted.

16 Then the God of Abraham was not Christ himself.” Had the meaning been, that Christ, exclusively of the Father, and of the Spirit, was not the God of Abraham; no Trinitarian would have objected. What man ever supposed the affirmative? No one person of the Trinity, to the exclusion of the others, was the God of Abraham; nor is our God. The one only living and true Gud, in three Persons, is the only God of Abraham, and of the Christian church. But the body of the followers of Christ do believe, (because the Bible does clearly teach,) that Christ, in whom the whole Godhead dwells, is the Person in the Trinity, who was called the Angel of the Lord; who appeared in the bush: and at various times under the Old Testament; who was the Angel of God's presence with Israel; who appeared in their sheltering cloud, and in the shechipah, the Brightness of God's glory. They believe, (because Inspiration asserts) that Christ was the “ King of Israel;" “the Root of David,” and David's Lord.

It seems natural to inquire, what good evangelical object could be accomplished, by this sermon? Does it increase the glory of the mediation of Christ, that the Father should appear, for thousands of years, to men in his own Person; and Christ to seem to be put out of his office? Does it more enhance the criminality and danger of sin, that the Father could come, and so familiarly converse

with sinners, in his own Person, with nothing said of a Mediator? If God could not transact with fallen man, only through a Saviour; why should this Saviour seem to be thus set aside from his mediatorial work? It must be no small mistake, to seem to interchange, in any degree, the special offices of the Father and the Son.

Relative to Dr. Watts being classed with the Unitarian writersI had thought that this point had, years ago, been well and publicly investigated, and the claims of the enemy shown to be without soundation. If Dr. Watts did not most manifestly deny the Divinity of Christ; it is to be regretted, that he should thus be classed with Priestley, and the men who have denied it; and especially, considering that the public devotions of so great a portion of the Chris. tian church, are constantly deriving such rich benefit from the pious labours of that noted man of God, in his Psalms and Hymns.

ALEPH.

ON DIVINE AGENCY.

REPLY TO ENQUIRER. (See page 392.] Dear Sir-A proper regard to the limits of this work, as well as to the patience of our readers, seems to require that we should study brevity.

I am still unable to see, that the passage, I Kings, xxii, 20—23, proves that God did no more than barely permit the lying spirit to enter the prophets of Ahab. True, the words, “ Go forth and do so,” may express permission only; but can this be said of the words,

" thou shalt persuade him, and prevail also”? Let it be supposed, E however, that both expressions imply permission simply; still how

does it from hence follow, that no more is meant, when it is said, “ Behold, the Lord hath put a lying spirit,” &c.? Why must the term put, be limited to the meaning of the preceding terms? Ify you answer,

- Because God did no more than permit the spirit to go; you beg the very question in debate. It is not at all inconsistent with any part of the whole passage, to suppose that the term put, is here used in its plain and literal sense. --But, supposing we grant all you wish-that put must mean permit only-how does it thence follow, that other and very diverse terms, such as move, turn, fashion, and create, may mean no more than permit? These terms are not only diverse from put, but are the strongest and fullest that can be used to express the direct and positive agency of God. If these terms “may” mean bare permission; then there is no evidence in the Bible, that God ever does, in any case, more than barely permit things to be and events to take place. And it does not seem to me, that permitting the heavens and the earth to come into existence, is “as near as can be” to causing them to come into existence; and I confess my ignorance of that "natural figure of speech,” by which the terms move, turn, fashion, harden, and create, may be used to express bare permission. And I should like to be informed, what those“ other passages” are, whose meaning is more “ undisputed," or which are less " susceptible of different meanings,” than those in which the terms move, fashion, create, &c. are used, as quoted in Calvinist's creed?

You state two reasons, why those passages ought not to be understood in an absolute sense: “First-it would be unjust for God positively to make men have evil inclinations, and then punish them for having those inclinations." To this I have already given as answer (See pages 286, 287) which I need not repeat. But it seems to me, you have furnished an answer yourself: for, though you say, that " a man's choice is not active," and that blame “is not in the will, nor the intention, nor the exercises;" yet you admit that the grace of God produces in saints that which is good in its nature, towards which he manifests his approbation, and for which he rewards them as really as he does the angels.'-Why, then, may be not, by his agency, cause that in sinners, which is evil in its nature, towards which he may manifest his disapprobation, and for which he may as justly punish them, as he does the fallen spirits?-Again, you suppose there may be cases, in which men are given over and hurried on to destruction, whose hearts God actually hardens, and who are precipitated by a Divine impulse.' Now, though you say, these men are not“ in a state of probation;" yet I would ask, whether they are not moral agents, and to blame for their wicked conduct? Suppose Pharaoh, as you think “ it may be," was of this number; was not he to blame for his conduct towards Israel? And did not the Judge of all the earth do right in punishing him?--Further, you assert and maintain, that " choosing is making or causing choice.” I would, then, ask, if sinners do not choose, when God causes them to choose? When God hardened Pharaoh's heart, did he not choose to keep the Israelites in cruel bondage? Is not hatred an act of choice? And did not those exercise choice, whose hearts God turned to hate his people? If so, then they made or caused their wicked choice, as you use terms; or, as the inspired writers use them, they hardened their hearts, and so were wholly to blame.

I now come to your second reason for not understanding the passages quoted by Calvinist, in an absolute sense: “ Second-If the will is not under the controul of man, it is useless to call on him to have one different from that which he has."-Here I confidently ask, why it is more useless, on our theory, than on yours? You admit, that God produces in men all the goodness they ever have that it is bis grace alone which makes them differ from the damned. Now, show me what ability men possess to repent and have a holy will, before such a will is produced in them by “ Divine grace, and of what use it is to call upon them to do it? Of what arail, I ask you, is their self-determining power, if it never moves them, without Divine grace, any more than a water-wheel turns without water?

We say, it is of use to call upon men to have a different will, because they have natural power to comply. Without stopping to enquire whether capacity is different from power, I would say, as I have said, that natural power means whatever is requisite to an exercise of the will, besides the exercise itself. And as the same faculties and powers are requisite to every moral exercise, whether good or evil; so he who has natural power to put forth the one, has the same natural power to put forth the other. Men cannot, indeed, produce their exercises of choice: but to produce one's own exercises of choice, is not an object of power: the supposition is an absurdity. It is absurd to suppose that God causes his own voluntary exercises; for this implies that he acted before he had an exercise of choice. There was a period, according to this supposition, when God had no choice, and, of course, no moral character. After perusing all you have written on the subject, I am still unable to see why the idea of succession is not as consistent with the eternity of God's volitions, as with the eternity of his existence. The Di. vine existence is not an eternal NOW, as the Schoolmen dreamed,

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but a succession of moments from eternity: and so the Divine will is not an eternal volilion, but a succession of voluntary exercises from eternity. For this succession, both of existence and exercises, there is a ground or reason, in the Divine Nature; by which is meant, not (as vou represent, page 394) the motive in view of which he acts, bui that, whatever it may be, which determines him to choose and act in view of motives,

It is absurd to suppose that men cause their own voluntary exercises; for this implies, either that they cause their own exercises, by choosing to have them—which you allow to be absurd—or that they act, in causing their exercises, without any choice, which is equally absurd.

« Action, you say, consists in choosing, not in choice. It consists not in the choice itself, but in making the choice. A man's choice is not therefore active."~Here you make a distinction, where there is no difference—“choosing is not choice”!—You reprezent making choice, as preceding choice itself, although you had previously said, that “choosing is making or causing choice”-and you again represent activity as belonging, not to choice, or to the will, but to something which precedes it! Are we conscious of such an active power, which is distinct from the will? I can say, for one, that I am conscious of no such absurdity. While I' feel within me a spontaneous (i. e. voluntary) impulse;" I am not conscious of any selfcaused motion of my spirit.'

You justly observe, that “things are not certain because they are foreknown, but foreknown because they are certain. They could not in the nature of things be foreknown unless they were certain.” All the volitions and actions of mankind, then, were certain from eternity, for they were foreknown hy God. This you grant. But, how could this be, if men possess a self-determining power? Must not God have seen a cause, or chain of causes, which would produce those things and events which he foreknew? And was there not, then, a moral necessity of the existence of those things and events? “ Things are certain, you say, because their causes will make them to take place."--And is there not, then, a moral necessity of their taking place? But what sort of a self-determining power is that, which certainly will, and of necessiły must, determine and act in a certain way?

To your questions, I return the following answers:

Quest. If God has not a self-determining principle, how is it making men like gods, to say that they have?'

Ans. Because it is saying, that the ground or reason of their voluntary exercises, is within themselves.

Quest. “ If volition in God is uncaused by him, and is necessary, how is he an object of praise for the same?'

Ans. “ To the will, blame or praise is attached." p. 995.

Quest. “Il volition in God can exist uncaused, and merely because there is a ground or reason for its existence; why cannot it exist thus in man?"

Aas. Because man is not God.

Quest. If God causes the volition of man to be as it is, and is determined that it shall be so; how can man prevent it? How can he have a different will ?

Ans. As easily as the sailors with Paul, could leave the ship, or as saints can fall away to perdition. Men have always a nalural, but never a moral power, to do differently from what God deter mines they shall do.

Quest. “How can it (an evil intention) be termed morally eril, if it is absolutely necessary?”

Ans. In the same way, that what God “produces” in the saints, is morally "good in its nature, towards which God can, therefore, with propriety, manifest his approbation”-in the same way, that any intention, which was foreknown, and so certain, may bave a moral quality,

Quest. “How can saints be really praise-worthy, if they are not as they should be, when left to themselves?”

Ans. Neither saints, nor any other creatures, erer are left to themselves. God 'works in them to will and to do, of his own good pleasure.'. They are praise-worthy, because they voluntarily do is that which is good in its nature.”

Quest.“ How can it be proper to say that God chooses, if the choice in him is eternal, and uncaused by himself ?"

Ans. Just as proper as to say he exists, though bis existence is eternal, and uncaused by himself.

Quest. “Do not all feel as conscious that they cause their own evil wills, as they do of any thing else whatever?"

Ans. No. I do not believe any man was ever conscious of an act, preceding and causing any exercise of his will, whether good or evil.

Now, dear Sir, it really appears to me, that the “ difficulties” are all on your side. Let me close, by stating a few of them, which obviously result from your scheme.

The will of God had a beginning, and was caused by himsell, by a previous acl!

God foreknew, and there were causes which rendered it certain how man would choose and.conduct, in the exercise of a self-determining power!

Saints are "voluntary machines"—they " have, strictly speaking, no moral goodness;" although there is that in them, which is

good in its nature,” and which God approves, and in some sense rewards!

Men possess a self-determining power, in the full exercise of which, all men, if left to themselves, would only sin, and be damned!

Choosing and causing choice, are one and the same thing; so that "a man's choice is not active, but is the inactive effect of his choosing, which precedes all choice or volition!

Blame is “not in the will, nor the intention, nor the exercises;" although “ to the will blame or praise is astuched”!

But, the principal difficulty attending your scheme, is, that it obliges you to understand scores of plain and exprees passages of scripture in a sense, not only figurative, strained, and far-fetched, but in a sense, the very reverse of the obvious and unequivocal meaning of the terms in which they are expressed.

EDITOR.

THE SABBATU.

[Concluded from page 401.) As to the general government, if it does not come within their province to make laws to require an observance of the Sabbath, we have a right, at least, to expect that they will make none to oppose it. But what can be more unfavourable to the sanctification of the Sabbath, than the Post-Office system, according to its present establishment? and this is under the control of the national govern

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