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own understanding, by arguments adduced, by reason, we are to judge whether there be a revelation; and that by reason, and a comparison of one part of scripture with another, we are to judge what that revelation is. This once ascertained, its commands are absolutely imperative.
Another point on which we appear to have been misunderstood is this: It is represented as if we did not believe that the terms Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, are to be found in the New Testament. They are to be found; and we believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in the Holy Spirit. But we deny the inference which you, by your reasoning, deduce from these words. We deny that they are three persons in one God. We assert that you will not find the expression, God the Son, nor God the Holy Ghost, nor Trinity in Unity, nor three persons in one God. It is your reasoning we dispute; the scriptures we fully believe.
Now, my friends, I will proceed to what is more immediately my present object. In my last Lecture I gave you the
definition of Unitarian: "A worshipper of one God, the Father, without any di-. vision into persons." Congregations. of Dissenters of our denomination have usually consisted of two classes; of those who have believed our Saviour Jesus Christ to be in every respect a human being; and of those who have thought. that he existed before he appeared in the present world, not a God, but as an angel, or some inferior subordinate being. This difference interrupts not our harmony, because we all agree in our main points. We all worship One Being, the Supreme Jehovah, through the same Mediator Jesus Christ. We are all Unitarians; and if you want an appellation to distinguish. those of us who believe that Jesus Christ was a mere man, from others amongst us who believe that he pre-existed, call us Humanitarians, as believers in the humanity.
In the course of Lectures in which I am now engaged, I undertook to give you a view of the principal doctrines which I deemed Christian, and some of the arguments upon which they were founded.
We are now come to the consideration of of Christ. Was he "very God of very God," the second person in a Trinity, “uncreate, incomprehensible, eternal, almighty?" Was he an angel, or was he a man?
It would defeat the designed object of a public lecture to go through a long train of dry, critical examination. If you really wish to see every text you adduce critically examined, and thoroughly to investigate our opinion of these texts, as well as your own, I would refer you to two modern books, which may be easily procured, Dr. Carpenter's "Unitarianism the 'Doctrine of the Gospel," and Mr. Belsham's "Calm Inquiry into the Person of Christ." The plan I propose is similar to that which I have already pursued.
'I shall first adduce some of the principal passages you bring forward in proof of the deity or pre-existence of Jesus Christ. These I shall contrast with other expressions, and leave you to judge, whose opinions may with the greatest propriety be said to be the result of speculative rèasoning, whose inferences are the most
natural and best accord with the scriptures as a whole.
I shall then present you with several series of arguments in proof of the simple humanity of Jesus Christ.
Before I proceed to the consideration of the passages you adduce, it may be useful to make one observation. A wide and important distinction exists between the divinity of the person of Jesus, and the divinity of his mission. The questions are totally different; Were the doctrines divine? Was he a deity who published them? The doctrines are not at all affected by the individual nature of the person who taught them. An ambassador is commissioned, by an earthly potentate, to convey his mandates to the most distant part of the globe. He bears with him his sealed instructions. The mandates are the same, the orders must be equally obeyed, whether he that bore them was a nobleman or a plebeian, an angel or a clown. Whatever was the nature of Jesus, we firmly believe that the doctrines of the gospel came from God;
the precepts are divine; the system of
morals is of heavenly origin; the promises made, the prospects exhibited, the rewards proposed, the punishments threatened, all proceed from the great Jehovah. Obedience to the laws of the gospel is therefore the first, the bounden duty of every Christian.
There are two or three passages in the Old Testament, which, as they are constantly brought forward, I must just allude to. (Gen. i. 26.) "Let us make
man." Let us consider who wrote this passage, and what is implied in it, according to your inference from it. It was written by Moses, addressed to the Israelites. If your interpretation be correct, Moses was privy to, and intended to record, a request from God the Father to God the Son. Now Moses could not of himself know of such a request: it follows that the Divine Being must have revealed it to him. Recollect what a sweeping inference is your's, when you say, the request must be addressed to the Son, when no mention is made of the Son, and it would just as well apply to one or more angels. Remember also that the Jews