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a revelation was needed to show the way and manner, and even conceded the point that infinite wisdom alone could devise and perfect the plan of redemption; we say if this necessity existed, and if in the gospel our only title to eternal life, and a never ending, heavenly inheritance, is to be found, the motives to lay hold upon it, will be of the same eternal character.
It may therefore, be of much interest to reflect upon and inquire for a few moments into the necessity we have for divine interposition, and a divine means of ransom. The command was, "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." We think the character and extent of it is very manifest and plain. The Veracity, and Word of God was pledged—" in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now man disobeyed the command, and did eat thereof, and it was violation of the command, and not only this, the veracity or word of the God-head, or of the Father was pledged; "for in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." Now if the Father sustains the first office and station, in creation, and the plan of redemption, and the trinity, this transgression must be considered against the Father, or the Majesty of the God-head on High. For God considered as the Father to become veiled in humanity, and become a substitute for man, and become as a Lamb, "in fashion as a man," tinder that law, and offer an oblation to God, incur opinion, would seem absurd.
And were there three co-ordinate Gods—the transgression would be equally against the three, and there would appear an inconsistency for either of die three to become surety to the other two to redeem man from his state of ruin.
We have considered in this work, there was much reason, and assurance, that a created being could notrender to God obedience, over and above, the obligations they naturally owe to God. And of course, no created being could offer a sacrifice for tke sins of a world of men. Hence it is, if God has not given us an only begotten Son, possessing all the divine attributes, as we have contended; and which we have concluded Christ does possess; we know not where to find a Mediator or Redeemer, to ransom man from the state of the fall, and the sentence of the law, and by an atonement to reconcile man to God, and restore him to the favor of the Highest, and most holy Father.
Having therefore examined the works of Doctor Clarke, and Mr. Millard, we hope with a propet and charitable temper, and with all due respect for them, including also, some notices of Mr. Worcester. Finding, as we apprehend some insurmountable difficulties in their respective systems. We have concluded to turn our attention, and lay before our readers, some of the views, of the most excellent divines, as we esteem them, who have written on the subject of the Trinity, and the proper Sonship of Jesus Christ, since the days of the reformation. We purpose also to annex for further edification on this topic, some striking declarations of the Fathers of the three first centuries of Christianity. We shall also add some remarks on the most approved articles of the reformed churches. By this we shall ascertain, whether we are alone in our beliefs, and thereby become enlightened and strengthened in (he way of the gospeL Yet while we
This part of our work, we commence with the 3d chapter of Mr. Fletcher's works, and which ie wrote in vindication of the divinity of Christ md the doctrine of the Trinity, against the attack of Doctor Priestly. Mr Fletcher was one of the /icars of the church of England. Doctor Priesty a modern Socinian. The candid reader, whether acquainted with Mr. Fletcher's works, or not, are requested to give them a careful and attentive perusal; and to note well the weight and force of his arguments, and compare them with Scripture, and with our preceding remarks; and prayerfully consider, " unto what, then, were ye baptized?" Acts 19, 3. We wish also, particular examination may be especially given, of h:s proofs that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in his divine nature ; and that critical comparison be made of the views of Mr. Fletcher and the opposite views of Doctor Clarke*
FROM DOCT. FLETCHER.
That, according to the Scriptures, God the Father has a propeij Son, by whom he made, governs, and will Judge the world.
We cannot read the divine oracles without finding out this capital truth, that God, considered as Father, has an only begotten Son, called the Logos or the Word, whom he " loved before the foundation of the world," John xvii. 24. ■" who is the express image of his person," Heh. i. 3.—" " by whom he made the world, who was in the beginning with God, and was God,'* John i. 1.
We need only to consider the first verse pjf Genesis, to find an intimation of this capital truth. *' in the beginning," says Moses," Elohim, the Gods," in the plural number, or God, considered■ in the distinctions, peculiar to his nature, "He created the heaven and the earth." The learned know, that Elohim is a word in the plural number, signifying more exactly Gods than God: and accordingly it is sometimes so translated in our Bible: "..Thou shalt have no other Elohim," no other Gods, "but me" Exod. 20. "The Elohim doth know, that ye shall be as the Elohim;" which is rendered by the Septuagint, and in our verson, " God doth know, that ye shall be as Gods:" Gen. iii. 5. a proof this, even to an illiterate reader, that the very first line of the Bible gives us some notiee of the mysterious distinctions in the divine nature, one of which ,is