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One, of underived Divinity, love and be loved as: intensely, as a person produced and dependent !" Why may not such Persons of real Divinity, as the Trinitarians have conceived the Three in the Godhead to be, love each other with as real and intense affection, as God in one Person only.could be supposed to love a Son actually begotten of the divine nature ? Can derivation or dependence lay a foundation for the exercise of love, which cannot exist in the infinite God underived and independent? What excellency can derivation communicate, which underived eternal Divinity must be unable to supply ? Can any being be more excellent, or adequate to every needful purpose, than the infinite God ? Can it be more grateful to the feelings of piety to contemplate a Saviour derived and wholly dependent, than to contemplate one possessed of underived Divinity, in union with real humanity ? Shall we say, such a derivation and dependence bring Christ nearer to man, and render access to him more easy and picasing? It does in. deed bring him down infinitely nearer to a level with man! It makes him a creature like ourselves. But is not the glorified humanity of Christ sufficient to render access to him (or to God through him) sufficiently easy and pleasing to the godly soul? Or is underived Divinity so dreadful an idea to the godly person, that it would be more unpleasant to view it as existing in the Person of our Saviour, or standing so near to us, as in union with the glorified humanity of Christ ? Can we have more proper and exalted ideas of the love and grace of God toward fallen man, should we admit that Christ is of Divinity derived and dependent, than can be conceived upon the ground of his being underived and independent ? Is it not a selfevident fact, that the love and grace of God are
infinitely more exhibited, in sending a Saviour of infinite Divinity, than in sending a derived, dependent Saviour ? Does not the latter idea infinitely diminish the mercy of God in the scheme of salvation ?
But is it possible for real Divinity to be derivedi
PROPER DIVINITY INFINITELY INCAPABLE OF DE
An exact resemblance of some of the divine perfections may be, and is, formed in creatures. Angels possess the perfect natural and moral image of God. The spirits of the just made perfect do the same. Man was made in the image of God. The image of God's natural perfections fallen man still retains. But his moral image man has lost. To the new born, the image of God's moral perfection is partially restored. Hence they are said to be 66 partakers of a divine nature ;" and 6 of his fulness they have received, and grace for grace ;!-grace in the copy answering to its Prototype. What can render any dependent being more like God, than to have this image of God in that perfection, which is possessed by the inhabitants of heaven? They are the children of God. And they are as much like him, as to their moral nature, or the kind of their resemblance, as is possible. They are perfectly 6 satisfied with God's likeness." Shall it be said, that greater natural powers would render them more like God ? Reply. Perhaps even this would not render the resemblance more perfect. For in point of degree, or greatness of powers, finite bears no proportion to infinite. But how great powers some of the Creatures of God do possess, we know not. And
who can tell but the human powers of Jesus Christ are, upon the Trinitarian principles, as great and exalted, as the Christ of the Arian can be conceived to be ?-far exceeding our highest conceptions.
But the question is, can real divinity be derived or propagated ? Is not a conception of the affirmative a vast absurdity? Is God mutable or divisible ? What is the real Divinity of the Most High? The following Attributes have ever been conceived as essential to it :-Self-existence, Independence, Infinity, Omniscience, Omnipotence, Omnipresence, Immutability, Infinity of holinesss or benevolence.
Can there be real Divinity where either of these is wanting ? Surely not, according to the senti. ment which has universally been entertained of real Divinity, by the informed and judicious. And can these Perfections be communicated, or derived ? Can God himself propagate them ? Can he propagate Self-existence ?-a derived underived. ness ? Or a dependent independence ? Can God beget a being of independent Omniscience, Omnipotence, or Omnipresence ? Can he produce another infinity of Holiness, answering to his own ? God can do every thing that is possible. But are not these infinitely impossible ? Can there exist a real God, besides the one only living and true God? Can another real God exist, yea, be produced, who is destitute of the above incommunieable Perfections ? What is such a God ? And wherein is he God ?
But it is represented that God has a communi. cable nature, specifically his own, aside from the above incommunicable Perfections, which nature is essentially divine, and can never be communicated to creatures, though they are said to be in
God's image, to have his Holy Spirit, to be partakers of the divine nature, and to have received of God's fulness grace for grace. And we are called upon to believe, that this nature,(specifically divine, infinitely inferior to the divine incommunicable Perfections ; and yet essentially superior to what a holy creature can possess,) is what God communicated to Christ; .and that this made him really God; while yet he is totally dependent? But who can believe in such an intermediate divine nature? It is something destitute of properties, and indescribable. Where have we information of such a thing? Does the Bible give the least intimation of such a divine nature? a nature so specifically divine, that, while it can be communicated, it must render its subject a God, though distinct from the One God, who communicated it, and though wholly dependent? Whence is our information of such a divine nature ? Are we taught it from analogy?--that because many creatures do propagate their species, and communicate their own specific natures; therefore the infinite God must be supposed to have a power in like manner to propagate his species ? Bold deduction! equal to say. ing, that because God has given to many creatures a power to multiply; therefore he himself may bo multiplied! Because many creatures possess divisibility; therefore God has divisibility! New creatures may be brought into existence; therefore new Gods may be brought into existence! This reasoning appears to me but littte short of blasphemy. It is a reversion back to paganism. The idea, that because God sees fit to produce that number of some of his creatures, which he designed to produce, in the way of natural generation, therefore God himself may generate and has generated a God; appears too horrid to be