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preach the doctrine of the trinity to the jews, can appear to them in no other light, than an attempt to seduce them into idolatry, a thing which they dare not entertain the most distant thought of.
The great creed of the mahometans is, that there is one God, and Mahomet is his prophet. Now that Mahomet is not the prophet of God, it is to be hoped, they may, in time, be made to believe; but we must not expect that they will fo easily give up their faith in the unity of God. To make the gospel, what it was originally, glad tidings of great joy ; andi as at last it certainly will be to all the nations of the world, we must free it from this most absurd and impious doctrine, and also from many other corruptions which have been introduced into it. It can no otherwise appear worthy of God, and favourable to the virtue and happiness of mankind.
Lest soine common objections should 'hinder the reception of the great truth here contended for, I shall briefly consider and reply to the principal of them. It is often faid that Christ speaks of his humanity only, whenever he represents himself as inferior to the Father, and dependent upon him. But the scriptures themselves are far from furnishing the least hint of any such method of interpretation, though, according to the trinitarians, it is absolutely necessary to the true understanding of them.
Besides, when it is applied to the passages in queftion, it is far from making them either true in them
selves, or agreeable to the obvious purport and defin of the places in which they are introduced. I shall just mention a few. Could our Lord say with truth, and without an unworthy prevarication, that the Father is the only true God, John xvii. if any other person, not implied in the term Father, was as much the true God as himself ? Now the terin Father being appropriated to what is called the first person in the godhead, cannot comprehend the son, who is called the second. This key, therefore, is of no service in this case, and our Lord, by expressing himself as he has done, could not but lead his hearers into what is called a dangerous mistake.
When our Lord said that his Father was greater than he, did he make any reserve, and secretly mean, not his whole self, but only part, and the inferior part of himself, the other part being equal in power and glory with the Father? How mean the prevarication, and how unworthy of our Lord !
When our Lord said that the time of the day of judgment was not known to himself, the son, but to the Father only, could he mean that his humanity only did not know it, but that his divinity (which is supposed to be intimately united with his humanity) was as well acquainted with it as the Father himself? If the human nature of Christ had been incapable of having that knowledge communicated to it, the declaration would have been needless : but as that was not the case, his hearers must necessarily understand
him as speaking of himself in his highest capacity ; as he certainly must do, if at all, when he speaks of himself as the son, corresponding to the Father,
If Christ had not satisfied the jews that he did not mean to make himself equal with God, would they not have produced it against him at his trial, when he was condemned as a blasphemer, because he confeffed that he was the Christ only: and yet 110 jew expected any thing more than a man for their Mefliah, and our faviour no where intimates that they were mistaken in that expectation. It is plain that Martha considered our Lord as a different person from God, and dependent upon God, when the faid to him, John xi. 22. I know that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
VI. OF ATONEMENT FOR SIN BY THE DEATH
OF CHRIST. You have been taught by divines, that if Chrift be not God, he could not have made an infinite fatise faction for the fins of mankind. But, my brethren, where do you learn that the pardon of fin, in a finite creature, requires an infinite satisfaction; or, indeed, any satisfaction at all, besides repentance and reformation, on the part of a sinner? We read in the fcriptures that we are justified freely by the grace of God, Rom. iii. 34. but what free grace, or mercy, does there appear to have been in God, if Chrift gave a full price for our justification, and bore the infinite
weight of divine wrath on our account. We are Commanded to forgive others, as we ourselves hope to be forgiven, Matt. vii. 14. and to be merciful, as our Father, who is in heaven, is merciful. But surely we are not thereby authorised to infist upon any atonement, or satisfaction, before we give up our resentment towards an offending and penitent brother. Indeed, how could it deserve the name of forgiveness if we did ? If he only repent, we are commanded to forgive him. Luke xvii. 4.
You read in the scriptures that Christ died a facrifice for our sins. Heb. ix. 26. So he did, and a facrifice it was of a sweet smelling favour to God. To die, as Christ did, in the glorious cause of truth and virtue ; to die, as he did, in order to show us an example of patiently suffering death for our religion, and the good of mankind, and in a firm hope of a resurrection to a future and eternal life; to die, as he did, in express attestation of his own divine miffion, by his manifest resurrection from the dead, and as the fullest proof of that doctrine, by means of which finners are continually reconciled unto God, was a noble facrifice indeed. We also are commanded to present our bodies a living sacrifice. Rom. xii. 1. And We are required to offer the facrifice of praise to God continually. Heb. xiii. 15. But it is plain that all these are only figurative expressions, and used by way of comparison. Neither our bodies, nor our prayers, can be considered as real facrifices; nor, are we, there
fore, obliged to suppose that Christ was a real facrifice. And though we, like him, should be called actually to lay down our lives for our brethren, 1 John iii. 16. which, in imitation of him, we are enjoined to be ready to do, we should be facrifices only in the figurative sense of the word.
. It is true, that no man who is a finner (and all men have finned) can be justified by his works. We all stand in need of, and must have recourse to, free grace and mercy; but it is a great dishonour to God to suppose that this mercy and grace takes its rise from any thing but his own essential goodness; and that he is not of himself, and independent of all foreign considerations whatever, what he solemnly declared himself to Moses, at the time of the giving of the law, to be, namely, a God merciful and gracious, longsuffering, abundant in goodness and in truth. Exod. xxxiv. 6. or that he requires any other facrifices, than the facrifices of a broken spirit, and a contrite heart, which he will never despise. Pf. li. 17.
Can we wish for a more distinct and perfect representation of the manner in which God forgives the fins of his offspring of mankind, than our saviour has exhibited to us in that most excellent parable of the prodigal fon; in which the good father no sooner fees his child, who had abandoned him, and wasted his substance in riotous living, returning to him and to his duty ; but without waiting for any atonement or propitiation, even while he was yet a great way of be