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S. R. Smith declares, that it is “revolting to reason, repugnant to all our ideas of number and consistency."
They also deny the Supreme Divinity of Christ. So far as we have become informed of their views on this subject, the teachers of this system of doctrine are agreed to reject this doctrine. Indeed, one writer declares, that it “was discarded by the whole denomination, with but few exceptions."
Mr. Grosh declares: “We believe that the nature of Jesus was strictly the human nature only, while on earth,—that he had no existence before his earthly existence, except in the purpose and counsel of God,—that he was the chief (or beginning) of the creation of God only by the powers and office with which he was gifted, and by his resurrection.” This teacher of influence in his denomination, declares Christ in nature a mere man, denies his pre-existence, and his .greatness and exaltation above other men to consist wholly in his office, conferred by God and obtained by his resurrection.
Hosea Ballou says, “it is plain that the nature of the relation of Jesus to the Father is the nature of the relation of every man to the Father of our spirits.”
Mr. Williamson says, “ that Jesus of Nazareth was a created and dependent being, deriving all his wonderful powers from God.” “If you ask me, if he was no more than a man, my answer is in the language of Scripture, • He was made, in all things, like unto his brethren,' but was ó anointed with the oil of gladness above his fellows,' and endued with power greater than any other man.” They seem to agree that he was but a mere man in his nature, and that the only sense in which he was greater than man, was in consequence of his mission and office, the anointing and honor conferred by God. One writer says, in reply to the declaration, that their views of Christ, as a denomination, degrade Christ: “We think truly, that the supposition that Jesus was God, degrades his character; while the oppositę supposition reflects upon him the brightest glory.".
Mr. Jason Lewis says, “ Universalists believe not only that there is one God,' and in the language of Scripture,
but one God the Father,' but they also believe that there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, respecting whom they believe all that the Scriptures teach ; as for example, that he was a man approved of God,' &c.” It would have been well for this wise theologian to have quoted such passages: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” When the orthodox wish to prove that Christ was also man, they quote the same passages that Universalists do to prove that he was a man; but there is a class of passages which prove him to be God, therefore we believe not only that he was perfect man, but also perfect God.
We shall now proceed to state and defend the doctrine of the Trinity, and the Divinity of Christ, and thus show and prove, that Universalism is an error, grossly perverting these doctrines.
Some men have cherished strong objections against the use of the word Trinity, as applicable and properly descriptive of God. Though the term is not found in the Bible, and the view of God as described by the word Trinity may have been explained in such a manner as to misrepresent God and make a false impression; yet, in order to prevent circumlocution and to understand it in the sense it is employed by intelligent theologians, there is no one word better adapted in the English language to express the doctrine of God as taught in the Holy Scriptures. In perusing the Bible, we find that many passages describe God as one true and living God; and other passages teach that in this one God there are three, possessing equal and the same attributes—as it respects essence God is one, but as it respects agents God is three. The term Trinity as applied to God is descriptive of Him as one, in one respect and as three in another respect. God is not one and three in the same respect, but in different respects. As a certain geometrical figure, in one respect is a triangle, and in another respect, it has three equal sides. The absurdity which some discover in this doctrine, is not in the doctrine itself, but in their own position and reasoning. They are guilty of as. suming a false position, and consequently their conclusions are false. The position is, that God is one and three in the same respect, which is in bold contradiction of other things well known-one cannot be three, and three one. This is all unquestionably true, for it is not possible for God to be one and three in the same respects ; yet for aught we know to the contrary, and reason dare not call it absurd, that in one respect God is one, and in another respect, God is three in essence one, and as agents or persons, he is three. Should we declare that man is mortal and immortal in one respect, we should contradict matter of fact, and therefore be guilty of an absurdity, for in one respect he is mortal, but in another respect he is immortal. When we say that man is mortal, we mean, as it respects his body, he is so ; and when we say, that he is immortal, we refer to his soul. All this is reasonable and not absurd. For us to explain how this is so, would be as perplexing as it is to explain the mode of God's existence. Neither is it contradictory to reason, or absurd, to declare that there is one true and living God, (meaning in essence,) and that in this one God there is a distinction of three, (meaning persons or agents,) Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. The objector may say, after all, this is mysterious and beyond comprehension. As to matter of fact it is not, for that God does exist, and that he does exist in this manner may be proven by evidences; if so, this is conclusive. But as to the mode of God's existence and how he exists thus, may be very mysterious and incompréhensible, yet after all it may not be absurd. If so, then all things we cannot explain in the mode and relations of their existence, must necessarily be unreasonable. This is rather too sweeping and leveling.
The Lord has founded the fact and mode of his existence upon unquestionable authority, and conclusive evi.. dences. That God does exist is assumed and not proven by argument and reason in the Scripture, for none but the fool will deny the existence of God, and upon such all rea- . soning is lost. The Scriptures having assumed the fact of God's existence, then go forward to afford satisfactory evidences of his existence, without explaining and defining how he exists. To prove that the Father, and Son, and Holy Ghost are separately and individually God, the necessary evidences are produced, in ascribing the Name, the Attributes and Worship to each one equally. Mere evidences are designed to prove that the thing is so, without entering into an explanation why and how it is so. It was either not necessary, or not possible for man to comprehend how God does exist, and how it is that in the one God in essence, there are three in nature and being, the same and essentially God; for if it had been necessary to the welfare of man, we may presụme that the revelation would have been made. But so far as it was necessary to the welfare of man and to an elevated worship of God, the character of God has been set forth by divine authority and irrefutable evidences.
That we are unable to explain how these things are so, · affords no justifiable reason for rejecting the doctrine of the
tri-unity of God. There are many things we are compelled to believe upon evidence without a clear knowledge of the mode and relations of their existence. To act consistently, we must reject them all. If we cannot comprehend and explain the mode of existence and all the relations of natural things, how much less can we define the very nature and mode of existence of the infinite God.' The law of gravitation, we know exists as a reality, for we see its powerful operations daily on the earth, and in the mighty orbs of light which revolve in majestic splendor in the azure skies; but how to define it, explain its very being, mode of existence and all its relations, defies the intelligence and grasp of our finite mind. Newton the philosopher, discovered the law of gravitation as pervading the material world; but to define its substance and principle he was wholly incompetent. „Who is sceptical here? The same reason exists for being unbelieving in reference to gravitation, as in reference to the doctrine of the tri-unity of God-yea, more so, when we take into consideration the authority and evidences in the case. Magnetic attraction, which whirls the needle of the compass and holds it direct to the north-pole, is attested to, as an existing reality, defying successful contradiction ; but who after all can explain and define that subtile fluid in its uniform operations and in all its relations ? Though this mysterious reality is of great service by land and by sea, indisputable in its existence ; yet our belief of it rests wholly on its fact and evidences, and not on a definite conception of the mode and relations of its existence. How much mysteriousness is there about electricity, the growth of every plant, shrub, and flower, the union of soul and body in man ; must we, therefore, necessarily reject all these things, because in their mode of existence and relations they are deep and inscrutable. The same objections exist as against the being of God in a trin