« AnteriorContinua »
than a mere man. “He who was manifested in the flesh," must either be “the true God," or some other pre-existing being. The 1st chapter of John's gospel settles this question. There it says—“The Word was God;"_" and the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory.” “He, who was manifest in the flesh,” is called in our text, “the first and the last;" and, of course, He is the true God.” We have nothing, therefore, to dread from the situation of the text which we are now examining, even if it can be made to appear that Griesbach's reading is perfectly right. But powerful reasons might be offered in favor of the English reading, if the thing were necessary.
Whatever may be the true reading of 1 Tim. 3. 16, it is a fact that “ God was manifest in the flesh." As this is a truth, it is a very great evidence in favor of the English translation. Those who are in favor of a different reading, profess a religion that requires it.
7. If Christ is “the first and the last,” then He is the true God; and yet a distinct Person from the Father.
This is a manifestation that there is more than one person in the essence of JEHOVAH. On this principle, 1. John 5. 7, is an exhibition of divine truth. All the arguments that can be raised against its internal purity, are as volatile as air, when it is expanded to the last degree. As for the external evidence which lies against it, we have great reason to think that it originated in wickedness. On this, that excellent commentator, Mr. Pool, says“ The text was undoubtedly in the original copies of the Scriptures; and the want of it in the copies where it does not appear, must be owing to the want of care in transcribing, or to a base design.”
The gentleman with whom I have been contending, has predicted that “the time is at hand, when 1 John 5. 7, will be banished from our Bibles, and consigned to the abodes of annihilation.” On the contrary, I believe, that it will appear in them to the very end of time. It contains a doctrine, which beams forth in the Scriptures, like the unclouded sun.
The subject may be closed, with varying a little the last sentence of my opponent's discourse—“If any man, after being made acquainted with these various facts, now presented to him,” in relation to the Trinity in Unity--the supreme Deity and atonement of Christ—the Personality and saving operations of the Holy Ghost, and“ is so devoid of candor, of modesty, of the sense of shame and the love of truth, as to rely upon” the baseless fabric of AntiTrinitarianism for acceptance with God; “I feel compelled to adopt the language of” inspiration, “and say,” he is “denying the Lord that bought him, and is thereby “ bringing upon himself swift destruction.” But may the Lord Jesus Christ prevent this from being my opponent's portion, by turning him to a cordial belief of his perfect equality with the Father, through the riches of his grace, and by the regenerating power of his Spirit. AMEN.
The Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul,
for the work whereunto I have called them.
It is not designed to treat upon the designation of these men, to the work of the ministry; although that is a thing, evidently contained in this sacred passage. But my intention is to speak of Him, by whose authority they were sent to preach the gospel, and to administer divine ordi
This subject will bear directly, and with great weight, upon the authenticity of 1 John, 5.7. The various doctrines of Scripture form one chain; and like the several parts of an arch, contribute to the strength, consistency and beauty of the whole.
The Holy Ghost being a person in the Divine essence, of equal eternity, power and glory with the Father and the Son, it is highly necessary to exhibit the arguments that support this glorious truth. Taking into view the circumstances under which we are placed by Divine Providence, it becomes our imperious duty to contend earnestly for the Trinitarian doctrines; for they are the fundamental principles of the Cristian system.
The Deity and offices of the Holy Ghost have often been exhibited in my discourses in this town; but these things have never been made an entire and distinct subject. The doctrine of the Supreme Divinity and operations of the Spirit, is, however, of sufficient magnitude to claim such a share of attention. In connection with what our minds have been upon for a series of sabbaths, the pregent subject will be pertinent.
The distinct personality, and peculiar offices of the Divine Spirit, have been flatly denied by many in this place; and by those, who, on many accounts, have a claim on our esteem..
To establish and illustrate these sublinio and in teresting truths, will, therefore, be the definite object in the discussion of this passage. Your close attention is required, while an attempt is made.
1. To support the Personality of the Holy Ghost. This doctrine is fully contained in the text, and expressed with force and perspicuity. The Spirit is represented in it as commanding, and designating Himself by the personal pronouns, I, and me; saying, “Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them."
Our opponents frequently boast, that in the sacred narrative, called “ The Acts of the Apostles,” there is an entire silence in respect to Trinitarian doctrine; and that the whole of that history is formed on the simple principles of strict Unitarianism. But the text before us, evidently contains that which involves
Trinitarian sentiment. Nor is the passage which we have chosen as the present theme, a solitary instance of Trinitarianism; as we might easily show, if that were consistent with the present design. In our text, the Spirit is called “the Holy Ghost;"> and this is the very name which He bears in 1 John 5. 7. As our Anti-Trinitarian friends object to this name, it is the more necessary that we should insist upon it, and more frequently use it, when we speak of the third Person of the ever blessed Trinity.
In respect to this case, the Rev. T. Lindsey says—“We should use the word Spirit, instead of Holy Ghost; because the latter is calculated to lead uninformed minds into the belief, that there is a Person besides the Father, who is God.” How admirably cautious these writers are in guarding their readers on all hands, against every idea of a Trinity in Unity! But all who are acquainted with the Scriptures must know, that “ Holy Ghost” is the appropria e name, by which the Spirit is distinguished from * the Father, and the Son.” This is very clear from the commission which was given to the apostles by our Lord himself-viz.“Go, teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." The apostolic benediction, is formed on the same distinction of Persons in the Divine essence, and the name of Holy Ghost is expressed, viz. “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost be with you all. Amen." But I must not prolong the discourse by citing all the instances of this kind that might be mentioned. It is very surprising that Mr. Lindsey should be so particular in guarding his readers against the use of this name, seeing it is used between eighty and ninety times in the New Testament. If the sacred writers were simple Unitarians, they were very incautious and unguarded in using this name so frequently. This peculiar name is highly expressive of the Spirit's personality, which is the grand point we are now supporting.
Our theological adversaries, likewise, object to the use of the word person, in relation to the Deity, as not being scriptural ; but we find it necessary, to avoid circumlocution, and to express a thing which we fully believe, and deem to be of the last importance in respect to salvation.
But to proceed with the point, let it be observed, that we