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manifested, plainly implies that he existed before such manifestation, so the declaration of the end for which he was manifested bespeaks him more, I will not say, than a mere man, but more than a mere creature. For, how can a mere man, or mere creature, take away our sins, or destroy the devil's works?

But let us pass on to the famous passage, in which this apostle professedly characterizes the “Spirit of Truth,' and the spirit of error, and let us see how it reads, if understood according to the Socinian doctrine. -Chap. iv. 1, ‘Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they be of God; because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby, know we the Spirit of God. Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ (the same mere man] is come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ, [that is, that a mere man] is come in the flesh, is not of God. And this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come, and even now already it is in the world.' Now, what a strange and uncouth phraseology is this, which, on the Doctor's principles, the apostle uses ! Whoever, speaking of the birth of a mere man, said he came in the flesh ? Certainly, such a form of expression is unexampled in any author, ancient or modern, sacred or profane. The reason is plain : A mere man must come in the flesh, if he come at all : He cannot come, or be born into the world otherwise. It is therefore unnecessary, and indeed ridiculous to mention that circumstance. It is just as if one were to say, “ A man came clothed with skin, or with an head upon his body.”

But, to use such a phraseology concerning a being that might come otherwise, concerning an angel, for instance, or a departed spirit, would be at least good sense : To say that Gabriel came in the flesh, or that Elijah, or Moses rose again, and came in the desh, however the assertion might offend our faith by its falsehood, it would not shock our common sense by its absurdity : It would be only like saying, a man came clothed in scarlet, which was a circumstance

that might properly be mentioned, as he might have come clothed in raiment of another colour. Just so, the apostle's relating and solemuly testifying that Christ came in the flesh, as it was a fact true iu itself, so it was very necessary it should be mentioned, it being very possible, nay, and likely, that he should come otherwise, even without fesh, in the Spirit, in his spiritual and divine nature, as indeed he had come from the beginning; whether to the patriarchs, in the early ages of the world, or to his church in the wilderness, and to his prophets in after times.

But, says the Doctor, (Hist. of Cor. p. 142,) “This doctrine has staggered many, when they reflect coolly upon the subject, to think that so exalted a Being as this, an Unique in the creation, [an only one,] a Being, vext in dignity and intelligence to God himself, [he should rather say, one with God,] possessed of powers absolutely incomprehensible by us, should inhabit this particular spot of the universe, in preference to any other in the whole extent of, perhaps, bouudless creation." It is worthy of observation, here, that the very doctrine, which staggers the Doctor and his friends, and seems so perfectly incredible to them, is the grand subject of all St. John's writiugs, and furnishes him, (as it does the other apostles,) with matter for the highest admiration and praise! 'In this, (says he, chap. iv. 9,) was manifested the love of God towards us, because that God sent his only-begotten [“ an Unique in the creation," an only one, as Dr. Priestley terms him] into the world, that we inight live through him. Hereiu is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins! Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.—We have seen, and do testify, that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world !'

Though, as the Doctor expresses it, (ibid.) “he existed before all creatures, yea, from eternity, by an eternal derivation from his eternal Father,” though "he was the immediate Maker of the world, and of

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all things visible and invisible, and appeared in a divine character to the patriarchs and prophets ;" yet, that he was born of the Virgin Mary, and made man, is a doctrine which is now and has been in every age, since Christianity was first established in the world, the grand foundation, as well as object of the faith of the people of God, the source of their love, and matter of their wonder and praise.—That the Logos, the Wisdom, and Word, 'which was in the beginning with God and was God, that Wisdom and Word, by which all things were made, hath been made flesh, and hath dwelt among us,' while men beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father,' full of grace and truth :--Thatwhen he was rich, for our sakes he became poor, that 'we, through his poverty, might be made rich :-That when in the form of God, and,' as the apostle declares, 'equal with God,' as being his very Word and Wisdom, he emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men :-That, when he was 'found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself still further, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross ;'—This great mystery of godliness, while it hath filled them with wonder and amazement, at the condescension and love of this divine and adorable Saviour, hath convinced them that, mean and worthless as they are, when compared with creatures of a more exalted rank, they are, however, not overlooked by their Maker, amidst the immensity of his nobler works. On the contrary, they see that they stand high in his esteem, and are the objects of his peculiar love and tender compassions.

What God may, or may not have done, for other creatures, in other worlds, they know not, and there. fore pretend not to say ; but they do not think their ignorance in this point can justify their disbelieving a fact sufficiently authenticated, and in consequence thereof, their ungratefully rejecting what, they have good proof, God, in infiuite goodness, hath done for themselves, though they may not be able to assign a reason for his preferring of them to others, should there be a

preference in the case. They consider that other beings, existing in other worlds, either may not have fallen as they had done, and, therefore, may not have needed to be visited in a similar manner by a Divine Redeemer; or, if they have, that some circumstances in their case might render their defection more inexcusable, and that therefore the divine wisdom might not see fit to afford them the help he hath afforded man, formed out of the dust of the earth, weak, and frail, even in his best estate, and seduced by the sub. tlety and fraud of his more powerful and crafty adversary.

Be this as it will, their firm belief of a mystery they cannot fathom, that God has been manifest in the flesh ;' that 'to them a Child has been born, to them a Son has been given, whose name is Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, Emmanuel, God with us ;'—their conviction of this, I way, while it lays a foundation for the most absolute confidence in, avd entire dependence upon their God and Saviour for whaterer they want for time and eternity, binds their hearts to him, as by a thousand ties, and becomes a most powerful and perpetual obligatiou to love and obedience. This love of Christ coustraineth them, while they thus judge, that it one died for all, then were all dead; and that he died for all, that they who live, (viz. who live through his death,] should not henceforth live unto themselves, but to him that died for them, and rose again.' In the mean time, that the “ Father sent the Son, his living Word and Wisdom, to be the Saviour of the world,' that he so loved the world, as to give his only hegotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life,' is matter of equal praise, and equally excites their adıni.. ration, and provokes their gratitude. And, while with St. Paul they render thanks unto God for his unspeakable gift, they see every reason to conclude, with the same inspired Apostle, that he who hath not withheld his own Son, but hath freely delivered him up

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unto death for us all, will, with him also, freely give us all things !' Thus the doctrine of the incarnation of the divine Word, though a subject of cavil to the reasoning pride of vain and all-assuming philosophy, is a firm ground of confidence, and perpetual source of consolation to the humble and devout follower of Jesus, the little child, to whom it hath pleased our heavenly Father, the Lord of heaven and earth, to reveal those things, which he hath hid from the wise and prudent !

But, says the Doctor, (ibid.) 66 It cannot but be thought a little extraordinary, that there should be no trace of the Apostles having ever regarded their Master in this high light. For, being Jews, they would certainly consider him, at first, as a man, like themselves, since no Jew ever expected any other for their Messiah. Indeed, it can never be thought that Peter and others would have made so free with our Lord, as they soon, or sometimes did, if they had considered him as their Maker." In answer to this, I would observe, what sort of a Messiah the Jews expected, may be gathered, not only from the scriptures of the Prophets, which gave birth to that expectation, but from the ancient Chaldee, or Jewish paraphrase on those scriptures, which expresses their faith, at the very time when the Messiah was expected. Not to refer to any other pas. dig. I apr sage, their comment on Isaiah ix. 6, is sufficient to put this matter beyond dispute, and is as follows :--- The Prophet saith to the house of David, that a child is born to us, a Son is given to us, and he hath taken the law upon himself, that he might keep it ; and, his name shall be called God, before the face, (or from the face,) of the admirable counsel ; the man that abideth for ever; the Messiah whose peace shall be sent,] multiplied upon us in his days."

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