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other. These are historical facts which no one is disposed to deny. But what contentions have not been agitated, in subsequent ages, con cerning the proper Subjects of Baptism? Questions have arisen whether the initiating baptism of converted parents, do not virtually include their offspring? If not, whether children should be consecrated in their infancy, by a baptismal act of the parents, or their representatives; or whether it should not be their own act, and postponed until they arrive to years of discretion? What differences of opinion also have arisen concerning the quantity of water that should be deemed valid; or the particular mode of its application? Whether the sign of the cross would add to the solemnity of the ordinance? Whether this was essential to its validity? Whether it should be made with three fingers at once, in honour of the Trinity, or whether the repetition of the sign, in pronouncing the distinguishing name of each person, would not be equally reverential and efficacious? These are secondary subjects and inferences, either drawn from imperfect documents, or from ignorance and inattention, to some decisive circumstance respecting the ordinance itself.
Again, that our Saviour was superior to every other Being clothed with humanity, is admitted
by all Christians.
But he is represented in various, and even opposite points of view, in the sacred writings. This has embarrassed the minds of many pious persons, and occasioned violent contests among polemical Divines, Jesus Christ has repeatedly termed himself the Son of Man. The history of his life manifests that he was subjected to human infirmities. St. Paul says that "in all things he was made like unto his brethren, sin only excepted." He lived in all respects like an human being, and he even died the death of a malefactor. Hence, one party of Christians think themselves fully authorised to pronounce him truly and properly, a MAN; and they apply all those expressions from which their opponents draw different conclusions, merely as descriptive of the dignity of his mediatorial character. Other Christians assiduously collect all the passages expressive of his high dignity, as the basis of an opposite hypothesis. When they are informed that he is declared to be the Emanual, God with us; that he thought it not robbery to be equal with God; when he says, I and my father are one; when they read that " by him all things were made;"" that he has promised to be with his disciples always;" that St. Stephen, at the hour of his martyrdom, supplicated the Lord Jesus
to receive his spirit; they infer that he sessed also a divine nature, in junction with the human. They assert that the Logos is applied to Christ, and that this Logos was not only with God, but that he was God; and they think themselves fully authorised to pronounce that he was God incarnate, the Deity himself miraculously uniting with the corporeal system of a man, and thus forming a distinct person from that of the Father.
A third party adopt an hypothesis, which is a medium between the two extremes.
They suppose that the above descriptions of this exalted Person, are applicable to him as being the Son of God, by what they term, an eternal generation. They represent him to be the first born of every creature; to possess a divine nature, by which he is entitled to all those terms of honour which are ascribed to him. They consider him as having enjoyed the favour of God before the foundation of the world; and as descending from the divine abode, in obedience to his Father's will, and in order to save mankind.
But as he is described as being sent of God; as he declared, " my Father is greater than I," and as he repeatedly asserted his constant dependence upon the Father, and prayed to him in
the hour of distress; and as he acknowledged that he was ignorant of some of the counsels of God, they conclude that he must be inferior to the Father; and if an object of worship, it must be with inferior honours.
Whoever of these partizans shall be so fortunate as to possess the truth, he must ascribe the advantage to the justness of his Inference; after he has compared together these various representations, and given to each its due degree of force.
The only inferences we shall presume to draw from the subject are, that if accuracy of knowledge, respecting the person of Christ had been as important to Man, as accuracy of knowledge, respecting the points stated in the preceding disquisition, the revelation of it would have been equally conspicuous :-that had there not been many difficulties attending the subject, such a diversity of opinions could not have arisen -and that these difficulties should make the combatants humble, diffident of themselves, and charitable towards each other.
It is our earnest desire to collect and arrange important principles which are received by Christians in general, and, as far as it is possible, to escape contest, although placed upon a stage thronged with polemical combatants. We
solely wish to invite the different partizans, to compare their favourite dogmata with principles which they will not oppose. We shall therefore direct our attention to historical facts, which cannot be denied ; and submit the inferences we shall draw from them to the impartial judgment of our readers. As our statements will be more ample than it is usual for eager partizans to make, who manifest the disposition to collect evidences in favour of their own opinions, rather than duly to weigh the arguments of their opponents, there is a possibility of discovering a medium of explanation, concerning the mediatorial character of the Saviour, which, if it should not reconcile controversialists, may somewhat soften their asperities.
According to the sentiments of each party, this mediatorial Character is represented in the Scriptures in two opposite points of view. During his abode upon earth, the Son of God is considered as in a state of humiliation; and after his resurrection, he was declared to be in a state of exaltation. "Him has God exalted with his right hand, to be a Prince and a Saviour. He is also appointed to judge the world." "For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son."
We shall first consider the peculiar offices of