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of hardness, which they may give to me, on account of my opposition to their peculiar sentiments, may never alter my feelings towards them in that respect.
It is our indispensable duty, christian brethren, ever to remember that divine saying, " Charity suffereth long, and is kind." It is perfectly consistent with stedfastness in the faith, and a persevering defence of all its doctrines. “If any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.” Love to his glorious name will lead us to believe and defend his doctrines, to obey his commands, and to love our worst enemies. The Trinity in Unity, is laid down as an article of primary importance, in almost all the creeds in Christendom. In the defence of it, many fell a sacrificè in the fifth century, when the dark cloud of Arianism, overspread the christian horizon. That doctrine has been correctly understood, firmly believed, ably defended, and adhered to by an overwhelming majority in the church in all ages ; with the exception of the greater part of the fourth and fifth centuries. Truth, however, is not always on the side of the multitude; yet, it is no small degree of evidence in favor of the Trinity, that the Bible is so calculated, as to make a deep impression of it on almost every mind.
« Dr. Buchanan, in his tour through Hindostan, in the year 1806, found in the interior of that country, a body of Christians who have been settled there from the early ages of Christianity.” They gave him this account of themselves ;—“ We are of the true faith, whatever you may be from the West, for we came from the place where the followers of Christ were first called Christians.” The Dr. states, “At that time they had 55 churches, and their numbei was estimated at 23,000 souls." They informed him, that Christianity was first planted there by the apos
tle Thomas. He says, in their system of faith, the article of the Trinity is thus expressed,” —
“We believe in the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three persons in one God; neither confounding the persons nor dividing the substance; one in three, and three in one. None before or after the other : In majesty, honor, might and power, co-equal; Unity in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity.” See Dr. Buchanan's Christian Researches in Asia ; the sixth American edition, page 175.
In this article of their belief, there is a remarkable coincidence with the faith of christians in general, of whom, it appears, they had no knowledge. This is a strong evidence, that the Trinity in Unity is the doctrine of Scripture, and that they derived their faith in it from that fountain."
5. In the view of this subject, we learn the importance of examining closely the ground of our faith and hope.
Every one of us shall give account of himself to God." We have no right to think, that any doctrine of the Bible is obscurely revealed. It is incumbent on us, therefore, to study the Scriptures with great care ; and in understanding them, admit their true meaning, without being influenced by any man or denomination of men.
In this respect, we are taught by Jesus Christ to “call no man father upon
earth; for one is our Father, who is in heaven." Math 23. 3. The only rule of judging of doctrines, is the word of God; and it is able to make us wise unto salvation.". 2 Tim. 3. 15. In relation to this, our souls are at stake. It will appear at the day of judgment, that doctrinal errors were connected with the depravity of the heart-are of a moral nature, and render us accountable.
If we abandon our belief in the Trinity, we can have no hope on the ground of Christ's atonement; and, there
fore, we must lean on a righteousness of our own for eternal justification. This is a broken reed—a basis of sand -a hope, of which we must eventually be ashamed. It is solemnly asserted by inspiration, “ He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool.”
May God, therefore, through the riches of his grace in Jesus Christ, preserve us from all errors, and guide us into the truths of his Holy Word. Amen.
[At the conclusion of the foregoing sermons, the Rev. John Sherman de livered a discourse in answer to them, from the same pulpit; after which The following five sermons were preached, in reply to his.)
I JOHN, V, 7. For there are three that bear rècord in heaven, the Father,
the Word, and the Holy Ghost : and these three are
In the sermons which have been delivered from these words already, the subject was regularly closed. An event, however, has transpired, which renders it necessary for me to proceed with it beyond the original design.
After the preceding discourses were preached, you know, my hearers, that an answer was given to them by a gentleman of respectable talents. It is, therefore, incumbent on me, either to give up the ground I have taken as untenable, or reply to his arguments. If I could view them as unanswerable, I hope, that my mind possesses the candor which would lead me to an open acknowledgment. It is truth and not victory, which should be our grand object in all our inquiries.
The reasons of my dissent from the conclusions of that learned opponent, will give you an opportunity of judging with more propriety the point in debate.
I shall endeavor to meet his arguments in the order in which they oceur; and, assign the reasons why, they have not produced conviction in
mind. As the preamble of the gentleman's discourse is highly flattering to me in various respects, I shall pass over the principal part of it in silence. In remarking on his objections to 1 John 5. 7, it will be my aim to confirm his good opinion of my candor. . As he professes to have an entire conviction of the
spuriousness of that passage, I have no disposition to doubt his sincerity in the matter. My only concern will be with his arguments; as I differ with him in opinion, on the authenticity of the text in view.
There are two things in the introduction of his discourse, which require some attention. The first, is the opinion of Michaelis, who is called by the gentleman in opposition, “a Trinitarian of pre-eminent talents, and deeply versed in oriental learning.” The words of that author, are said to be these; that 1 John 5, 7, “holds its place in our printed Bibles, although well known by all the learned to'be a vile interpolation, and in the face of the clearest and most indubitable evidence of its spuriousness, to the shame and disgrace of the Christian world.” To this, I reply:-If professor Michaelis be a Trinitarian, he has, certainly, expressed himself in relation to his brethren, in a bold and offensive manner. If the whole learned Trinitarian world, will retain a text, which they all know “to be a vile interpolation," it was surely high time for professor Michaelis, to have separated himself from such a corrupt connection. But, until sufficient evidence is
presented of the spuriousness of the text in question, we are under no obligation to coincide with Michaelis in opinion.
We are directed by Christ in this respect, to “call no man our father upon the earth.” Our Anti-Trinitarian friends, are constantly warning us in the most solemn strains, to take heed how we subscribe to the creeds, con fessions, catechisms, and assertions of men, who are not inspired of God. I can cheerfully join with my opponent in his saying, “ It is with truth only, that we are