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tjur minds, that our Lord, in these displays <tf his power, had reference to his being one of the God-head, and the joint union that existed between him and his Father, and not to any inherent dependence and weakness in himself.
One expression, and one idea of our Lord, which both bear upon the same point we are considering, it is well to note here, viz. Our Lord came unto his disciples after his resurrection and said unto them that " All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth," &c. Perhaps as much stress has been put upon this passage, by those •who have doubted our Lord's divinity, as upon any one in the New Testament, to prove the power which our Lord exercised, to be delegated power.
Now we will come to the idea referred to, which is, our Lord in all this, was acting in his capacity of Mediator, and that Mediatorial power in the sense he referred to it, was not given him in his distinct character, and person, until he rose from the dead and received the promise of the Holy Ghost, and came to commission his disciples to go into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
One thing more is worthy of remark on this point, viz. that at the same time our Lord makes this declaration above referred to, he promises to be with his followers or disciples always to the end of the world, which no doubt our Lord would have us understand him, he would be present in person, to aid and support them, to guard and defend, to teach and to lead them through the labours, sorrows, and dangers, they would have to encounter, in passing through this world of sorrow. Therefore, if all this was delegated* or giVen, in the sense above stated, is it not plain and evident, that for our Lord to fulfil this promise to his disciples, he must be Omnipresent.
When we consider the dignity of our Lord— his omnipresence, his union with his Father, and his acting in his Mediatorial capacity, and that salvation in and by any other than Jehovah, is denied; we are grossly mistaken, if we are not helped to a doctrinal key whereby to unlock, and rightly understand, the various expressions and communications our Lord makes use of respecting himself, in the chapters we have cited.
When he says, "I can do nothing of myself,"1 he must have reference to the particular union which existed between his Father and himself.— In the same discourse, our Lord informs us, that "whatsoever the Father doth, that the Son doth also." Again, " It shall come to pass that they that are in their graves, shall hear the Voice of the Son of God, and come forth," &c. And "the Father judgeth no man, but • hath committed all judgment unto the Son." These expressions, and various others of the same nature, explain to us very clearly, the dignity of his character, a» the 2d person of the Trinity; and that the general term Father, as used in these passages,, comprehends the conjoint and whole God-head; consequently his other declaratory expressions, cannot refer to the weakness of his nature, but to his union and oneness with the Father.
Again, when we consider his prayer to his Father for his disciples, and for the descent of theHoly Ghost, to sanctify his disciples, and to preserve, and prepare them for the work of the ministry, we consider him acting in the capacity of a Mediator.
Farther .rieVs of the same subject, in continuation..
We shall still pursue the same point, a little further, in rather a general view of doctrines, viz. Touching the union which exists in the relation of Father and Son; the union which exists in the relation of the human nature and the divine nature of our Lord. And afterwards make some remarks on his Mediatorial office.
On the union in relation to the Father and Son. We have already stated our views, as to what we think, the mistaken ideas of Doctor Clarke. We think him mistaken in saying that the terms "eternal Son" is an incautious manner of treating this subject, and that the "enemies" have taken it as their strongest and most prevailing ground against his divinity. Our views, as stated, results from the belief, that the most advantageous ground taken by the enemies of Christianity, and to our Lord's divinity, is the union which exists in the relations of Father and Son ; and the union which exists, in the relation of the second person of the Trinity, and the humanity he took upon him.
We have doubted, whether for the two last centuries our Trinitarian brethren, have not been driven by the enemy, on to the ground of Sabelliahism, by reason of their not handling these points scripturally and rationally. Here then, we ought tP re-consider.
1st, In what does the advantages of our oppt>nents consist, and whereip do we err from the. lights of scripture?
2d, And what is our best defence against their charges?
We contend that Jesus Christ is the proper Son of; God, possessing the fullness of the Godhead, inherently in himself, as one of the triune- Ouropponents on this say, we make two co-ordinate Gods in ■every sense, or, that is, as to equality of dignity, and that consequently they must fill the same station, office and rank, in all the works of creation, providence and redemption, and therefore our position may be called one species of Ditheism.
Again, if we contend, as we do, that the Holy Ghost, is the third personage in the Holy Trinity, or God-head; they accuse, and say, you make three co-ordinate Gods, and therefore may be called Tritheists.
On these two points, they take ground. And from the two points, they reason in this way; that the difficulties in the plan of salvation are insurmountable, for if the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, sustain one station and office, in the works of creation, providence and redemption, then of course, the original transgression of man, must be as directly against the Son and Holy Ghost, as against the Father. And on the same principles, if the Son and Holy Ghost could pardon without an atonement being offered to them; why could not the Father likewise? They say another difficulty will occur, if there are three co-ordinate Gods, then there appears a gross absurdity in cither of the three becoming under the law, which they had jointly given to a finite being, which would be in veality to relinquish tlie claim, by paying the demand themselves.
These are the most plausible arguments of the opponents of the Trinity, and has been so considered and treated by the best writers of the two • last centuries, in the controversy with Socinius and Doctor Priestly.
It becomes us to inquire, whether our opponents Jiave not begged the question, and reasoned from premises of their own creation, and positions, which are not to be attributed to us. We deny the charge of ditheism, or tritheism, and at the same time admit, that if we have been incautious enough to justify the charge of believing in two Gods, or three Gods, they are justified in attacking such notions, for they are gross errors.
Our belief is, that "there are three in heaven, who bear record, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three are one?' It will be seen that our opponents, to substantiate their baseless, or assumed positions, give no consideration or weight to the last clause of the sentence," these three are one." Here is their error as to us, and the unfairness, and fallacy of their premises.— Leave out the indissoluble union and oneness of the God-head, and their ground might be tenable, and afford at least a plausible pretext; but now as to us, it is unjust in them ; we ought to be condemned or justified, on considering the entire grounds of our belief. The parts of our belief, separate, distinct, and standing without their references, and connection, might seem to be weak, but altogether we think them strong, because in tenor and consistent with scripture. On this union and oneness," these three in one,," is founded the Trinity. And if a union and oneness in