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would be în reality to relinquish the claim, bs 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 · Jast centuries, in the controversy with Socinius and Doctor Priestly.
It becomes us to inquire, whether our opponents have 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
the God-head, our belief certainty is not, in two or three distinct co-ordinate Gods, therefore it is, their reasoning has no application to us.
But we will further examine it. The original transgression of man was against the Supreme Being, the God-head. The Trinity or God-head through the Word or Son, did the work of creation, providence and redemption. And in this work, the second person of the God-head had fellowship of nature, acts, counsel, and ways with the God-head, or Father; for we apprehend, the general term Father comprehends the whole Godhead, as it is many times used in scripture. The Father sent the Son, that is, it was the act, counsel, and way of the whole God-head to do it. And that the second person of the Trinity who came forth from the Father, was always in the bosom of the God-head, and in perfect fellowship therewith in the work and worship of manifestation and revelation. He was subordinate to the entire God-head, in his scriptural relation, to their counsel, and way, and acts; and in his personality, did nothing alone, but in fellowship.
An atonement for man's original transgression against the infinite majesty of the God-head, was as we believe, necessary; for the offence was 2gainst the triune, and Most High God. And the scriptural mode of man's becoming reconciled to God, is according to the eternal nature, açt, counsel, and way, as manifested and revealed through the appointed Mediatorial power and agency. This, to those who have not become reconciled, and adopted into the union with Jehovah, it seems, is foolishness. But the proclamation and promise of pardon and salvation, was also necessary. If this assurance had not been made, it would be
much more difficult for a sensible mind to have believed, without such security and revelation. And, on what foundation would our faith, in a pardoning edict have rested? A demonstration of ;God's justice and love, was necessary to turn man
from his evil way to repentanee and reconciliation to God. Creature wisdom, excellency, and power, could not have reconciled righteousness and grace together; could not have atoned for an offence against an infinite majesty, or conferred salvation in the method of an eternal redemption; could not have propitiated infinite justice; could not have conferred an exemption from endless punishment, and advanced him to an endless felicity. The renovation of a moral world, and the display of infinite love, in taking away sin and its effects, and ! turning apostatized man to holiness, was a work worthy of a compassionate God; and which none other than God could have performed.
When we consider further, that universal sin, brought universal death into our world; and in this condition that “life and immortality" should : be “ brought to light” by the Word, is wonderful, yet in the way and method revealed, is altogether congruous, and worthy of a merciful God.: That “the Holy Ghost," the spirit of truth," ; should be also sent “ to teach you all things," and that the Prince of Peace should say, “my peace I : give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you,” not only evinces the work of a God, but it is demonstrative that the agent on whom the honour of the work devolved must be infinite, and a participant in the counsels of the Most High. Wild must be the fancy, and sorry the argument, which can deduce from this wonderful work of infinite love, “gross absurdity;" or that this can
be concluded, a relinquishment of a clajın, by paying the demand; when it is to be considered, the unveiling of the method, of reconciliation and forgiveness of sins, and justifying the ways of God's justice and mercy to man; and pointing out to man as a moral agent, the means of his reconciliation to God, in order to satisfy the law.
The notions of our opponents, both as to our , beliefs, and their own reasoning, appears founded on fallacious and imaginary premises. It is easy to draw conclusions, and raise up fantasies of absurdity, if we are at liberty to make conjectural and human premises, upon divine philosophy and revelation.
From reading and reasoning from scripture purely, and the exercise of pious wisdom and study, who can doubt, that the “ way of man's reconciliation to God” through the mercy, and gracious pleasure, and loving kindness of God, is an everlasting purpose of the Most Holy Trinity; and that the second person of the God-head, made promise and proclamation of “the glad tidings of salvation.” The three one do not, as our opponents express it, pay the demand, or relinquish a claim. When man is reconciled to God, in the way divinely appointed, the ransom from the sentence of the divine law is complete, the period of forfeiture is concluded, the covenant and dispensation of mercy is perfected; the moral disorder is cured, and man is regenerated and sanctified by the spirit of God to that measure of holiness which is a growing peace and union with God, through Christ.
Man was created through Christ, and is redeemed through his infinite merits, and infinite atoning Sacrifice, and is made joint heir with him in a
heavenly inheritance, agreeable to the divine pur. poses and counsels. “Hereby we know the love of God, because he laid down his life for us.”' Hereby we know our faith is no delusion. Man having disobeyed the Adamic law, the Word was pledged, that he should surely die," and the promise of mercy was then declared, and is perfected through the Mediatorial dispensation. Our Lord became under the Adamic law a propitiatory sacrifice, triumphed over death by his own power, was the first of the resurrection, and he is the eternal life, and light, “ whom to know aright is life eternal” to us. By the power of his infi. nite love for us, 6 at the consummation of the ages," he led captivity captive, and saints who had tasted of death, at the coming of the prince of peace to this portion of his dominions to take the keys of death, swelled the train of his ascension to glory. When he said, “ Lo I come,” to do the will of the God-head, he took away the legal sacrifice, and established “the evangelical dispensation," and proclaimed and made known the mediatorial law. Man in order to be saved must take hold of the divine dispensation, must be saved through the love and righteousness of our Lord, must believe in him, must have faith in the mediatorial rule or law, and must take hold of the hope therein set forth, as the only way of reconciliation with God.
This method of dispensation, was of all things most needed. The wisest and best of moral philosophers, anxiously waited for, and expected this divine, remedial philosophy, and declared, that a way of man's restoration to divine favour must be revealed ; as man was absolutely and entirely ignorant upon the subject. The promulgation of