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The Gospel, then, is calculated to humble the singer in his owu estimation, and to try his faith, by submitting to the belief of things, which he is assureds on the Word of God, are true, but which he is not called upon to explain, nor, indeed, is capable of rendering more simple and intelligible than what the Word of God has left them. Now, the policy of Satan evidently would be, to desire a system having a greater tendency to gratify the sinner in his self-complacency --one that would permit him to think himself of some importance one that would exalt his. reason a little more, and make less urgent demands on his humility, and his faith. It does not follow, that, in this device of Satan—this second attempt to destroy the world—he should deny all that God has revealed, or, in every point, give a new and false view of what God has said. It will be sufficient, for his purpose, if the fundamental truths be extracted, and false views substituted ; if the real essence and substance of the truth be removed, and something like those truths be substitituted in their stead. Satan is no clumsy deceiver; and he knows that it is only the true and genuine Gospel that is the power of God unto salvation; he knows, that if he could only deceive the world, as to the nature of the Redeemer's person, and his work for sinners, and in sinners, he is safe, and they are undone; and these are the points to which he addresses himself, with all bis subtility and power to deceive. į Let us, then, advert to one or two points in the system of Unitarianism, as the Arians and Socinians of the day are wont to designate their belief, and we shall see that it is just such a system as we have said the Devil'might be supposed to desire for the ruin of our race. 1. The Word of God speaks of a Siviour that has redeemed us by his blood, and calls us to come unto him, tbat we may be saved. Unitarianism acknowledges that Jesus is the Saviour; but it denies his Deity, and appeals to philosophy and reason to afford sufficient ground for the denial. The Apostle Paul has warned us, that heretics should arise who would act in this manner : he tells us “ to beware, lest any man spoil us through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ, for in him dwelleth all the fulness of the God. heal, bodily.”. (Col. i. 8, 9.) One would think this warning was plain enough, and might speak, in all the power of conviction, to the mind of every man. Scripture says that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself. No, says the Socinian, Christ was but a mere peccable man, like ourselves, but had a divine commission to teach us respecting a future
life. No, says the Arian, God was not, indeed, in Christ, but there was some kind of angelic nature that dwelt in the body of Christ, the greatest and best beloved of all creatures that God ever made, but it was not God himself. it was not the Son, the Word, that in the beginning was with God the Father, and was God. (John i. 1.) Here, then, these systems admit that Christ is the Messiah, but they rob him of his glory; and thus the Christ in which they trust is not the " Lord our righteousness." (Jer. xxiii. 6.)
2. As to the work of the Redeemer on behalf of sinners, Scripture assures us, that our transgressions were imputed; to Christ; that be, the innocent, the holy, and the just, suffered the punishment that was due to us for our sins. · Clirist was absolutely pure and holy, yet he endured the greatest afflictions, and died the death of the cross. Now, nothing can ever reconcile this with the absolute justice of God, except the admission of the Scripture statementthat he was made sin for us, or a sin-offering for us, and punished in our stead, that we might be made the RIGHTEOUSNESS OF God in him. (2 Cor. v. 19.) The Gospel, then, tells us, that Christ atoned for our sips, by his vicarious death ; but the Arian denies this, and while he, in words, calls Jesus a Redeemer, he denies that our sins were laid on him, and that he suffered what was due to us for our offences against God. The Socipian, with some degree of consistency, when he makes Christ a man, repudiates altogether the idea of atonement, and denies that Christ ever obeyed the law, or suffered for us at all.* Yet the Socinian
* In proof of this, we quote the following extracts from the Memoirs of the late Thomas Belsham, compiled by John Williams :-Page 435,"These opinions appeared to Mr. Belsham, and to others, to be gross errors and corruptions of the Christian doctrine.-1. That Jesus Christ had an existence previous to his appearance in the world. 2. That he was superior to all created beings. 3. That to him was delegated the work of creation, at least of the earth and of the solar system, of which it is a part. 4. That he was engaged in the government of all human affairs. 5. And he was acquainted with the secrets of all hearts, as he would finally be the judge of the characters and destinies of mankind.” Page 437.-" There lurked in the breasts of many, confused notions of 1, the superhuman nature of Jesus Christ ; 2, bis agency in the salvation of the human race; of, 3, the efficacy of his sufferings in the removal of guilt; of, 4, the necessity of some atonement for sin ; and of, 5, the fac riour's advocacy to render the best services of mau acceptible to God.",
But these errors could not be cherished by those who were convinced, -That Jesus Christ was himself one of the human race; 2, that he par
will call himself a Christian, and Jesus a Saviour, because he came and saved us from all the doubts and terrors in which we were involved about a future life. · It appears, then, that the Unitarian may talk of Christ, and of his salvation, and call him a Redeemer, while, in reality, this system would degrade his person and lis work, would rob him of his ability to redeem, and reject the work he has performed, and by which alone we can be saved. We have often pitied the ignorant and unsuspecting, who were sitting under the ministry of such persons, and who, when they heard the name of Christ in the sermon, or any reference to him as a Saviour, in the concealed and cautious manner which was characteristic of the party, believed that surely the man who could so discourse about Christ did not deny the Saviour. But had the, Arians, in this country, when discoursing from the pulpits, explicitly stated their views on these subjects, instead of concealing them, in the language of Scripture, the most of their hearers, instead of being deceived by them, would have fled at once from under the deadly influence of such a system.
3. As to our moral nature, the Scriptures assert, that the carnal mind is enmity against God, (Rom. viii. 7;) that man, by nature, was boly, bis understanding capable of spiritual discernment, and his affections going forth in love to God and holiness, but that man fell from his high estates that by nature he is spiritually dead and opposed to holiness. It was necessary, then, that Christ should not only redeem us from under the curse of the law, but also provision was to be made for renewing our fallen nature, else we never could have enjoyed the holiness and spirituality of heaven. Believers are renewed by the Holy Ghost: their hearts are changed, and they become new creatures by the Spirit dwelling in them. To this end, the Spirit has been purchased by the work of Christ, and it is just as necessary that believers should be born again, as that they should be justified. The one act has reference to the condemnation under which they are existing, and upon which they must be delivered ; the other, to their dead, unholy nature,
took of the common nature of all, and had no other ; 3, that, like them, he was subject to human weakness and human infirmity ; 4, that by nature he was not distinguished from other men; and 5, could not be that sacri. fice, that propitiator for sin ; or, 6, that Mediator between God and man, which many, mistaking the meaning of Scripture language, imagined him to be.” This is truly appalling ; and were it not given by his Unitarian biographer, 'could scarcely be credited, yet this is to be a Bible Christian!!
which must be destroyed, and a new heart given them, without which they would be utterly unable to enjoy the heaven into which they had a right to enter. Now, what does rational Christianity say on this subject P While the Socinian relies for his justification on the abstract mercy of God, without any reference to the work of Christ, he denies that there is any Holy Ghost. With him sin is but a trifling evil in the sight of God, and denying the existence of the SPIRIT, he rejects the doctrine of regeneration altogether, as fanatical and absurd. The Arian, rejecting the Deity of the Holy Ghost, likewise, and, as most of them do, disbelieving his personality, symbolizes with the other in refusing to admit the Scripture doctrines on this fundamental point of such evident importance. Yet both parties will quote such texts as will deceive the ignorant and the unwary. They yield the point, that man has, indeed, suffered by the fall ; and they further grant, that reformation of character is necessary with most persons, and repentance and sorrow for the imperfections of our frail nature is likewise to be exhibited ; but the idea that man is altogether vile and polluted, they abhor; and, consequently, they must interpret all the portions of God's Word that speak of conversion, as meaning simple reformation and amendment of life. Thus their use of Scripture language on this topic is calculated to deceive, unless it be accompanied with such a comment as will enable the hearer to understand the sense that is attached to such expressions. In words, then, the Unitarian will speak of regeneration and conversion, while, in reality, he denies it altogether.
4. But further, respecting the inspiration of the Bible, we are told, that “all Scripture is given by inspiration of God,
--that holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost." Such language, if used respecting any worldly concern, could scarcely be misunderstood. It plainly tells us, that all the Bible is of God--that the words of the original are His, as well as the sentiments--that while, in one senise,
it is the production of the writers of the different parts, it is also the Word of God. Believing this doctrine, an overwhelming importance is attached to every deelaration in the Inspired 'Volume. A believer would as soon commit suicide as cast away any part of the Inspired Volume, or change its signification by a false translation. Mark, however, the conduct of the Socinian' or the Arian. While, in words, he
admit that the Bible is iuspired, yet, in reality, he believes no such thing, and be proves it by his actions. Among the party, one will
grant that the sentiments of Scripture are inspired, though the
fundamental and important work of Christianity is to be found in the Gospels, while it would not be more extravagant nor gratuitous, to have adopted the five Books of Moses for the same purpose. Many unlearned people have often wondered, how the Deity of Christ can be denied by any man, who believes the Bible to be the Word of God; but if it were known to them that Unitarians adopt such views of in. spiration, the difficulty would be solved by the introduction of another not less perplexing.
It is not strange, indeed, that those who hold such opinions will tell us, that when an Apostle says, “ God was in Christ," he does not mean what the words convey, but something totally different. Neither is it wonderful that, when again le says, respecting the Jews_"whose are the Father's, and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God, blessed for ever," a new translation should be adopted, and one which is unparalleled for effrontery and violation of the sense of the original
, Neither need we wonder that Belsham, &c., in their improved version of the New Testament, have rejected large portions, and mistranslated others, where their peculiar opinions are evidently declared to be opposed to the Word of God. Such views of inspiration evidently account for the reckless and audacious manner in which they endeavour to fritter away the Seriptures; and by perpetually referring to figures and Eastern forms of speech, or directly and flatly contradicting the inspired writers, attempt to render void and useless every thing that is valuable in the Bible. In words, then, Unitarianism admits that the Scriptures are inspired, while, in reality, no more respect is paid to their authority than to the writings of any modern divine.
I might go on at greater length, to consider the manner in which other subjects, of equally great importance, are handled; but this would, perhaps, trespass too long on the time of your readers. I might, if your pages were not better occupied, have brought forward extracts from Unitarian divines, sub