Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

his eyes were as a flame of fire; and his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace ; and his voice as the soumd of many waters : And he had in his right hand seven stars, and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and his countenance was as the sun shining in his strength. And when I saw him, (though he be a mere man !] I fell at his feet as dead : And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto nie, Fear not, I [a mere man !] am the First and the Last ! I am he that liveth and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, Amen! and have the keys of death and of hell!'-I do not wonder that Dr. Priestley doubts the authenticity of the Apocalypse.

Proceed we to chap. v. 5.- One of the elders said unto me, Weep not, behold the lion of the tribe of Judah, the root of David, [who, however, is but a niere man, and did not exist till many hundred years after David's death !) hath prevailed to open the book, and loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne, and of the four living créatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven eyes and seven horns, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth : [For though a mere man, to him belong the seven Spirits of God!] And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four living creatures and the four-and-twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and open the seals thereof : For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us uuto God by thy blood, [the blood of a mere man !) out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests. And I heard the voice of many angels, round about the throne, and the living creatures, and the elders : And the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands ; saying, with a loud voice, Worthy is [the mere man !] the Lamb that was slain

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing : And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I, saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, (viz., to the eternal God,] and to the Lamb, [a mere man!] for ever and ever! Aud the four living creatures said, Amen! And the four-and-twenty elders fell down, and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever!' What will the disciples of Socinus say to this ? Surely, if Christ be a mere man, idolatry is committed, even in heaven!

And as the Father and the Son are associated in claiming and receiving divine worship from the saints, whether men or angels, so also in taking vengeance on sinners. Thus, chap. vi. 16 :— They said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb ; [that is, the wrath of a mere man!] For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand ?' who shall be able to bear the wrath of a mere man?

Equally remarkable is the following passage :• After this, I beheld, (chap. vii. 9,) and lo a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations and kindreds, and people and tongues, stood before the throne, (viz., of Jehovah,] and before the Lamb, [that is, before a mere mau,] clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands, and cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God, who sitteth upon the throue, aud unto the Lamb,' a mere man ! Here again, according to Dr. Priestley, a mere man is worshipped, and salvation is ascribed to him, as well as to the infinite Jehovah! And, (verse 13,) the saints that have come out of great tribulation are said to have washed their robes, and made them white in his blood ! "Therefore, (it is added,) are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple. And

he that sitteth on the throne, shall dwell among them. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst any wore ; neither shall the sun light on them, nor any heat. For the Lamb, [a mere man, says the Doctor!) who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed them, and shall lead them to fountains of living water; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.' So that, if the Doctor be right, a mere man, in conjunction with the supreme God, is the author of their everlasting felicity. And (chap. xi. 15,) the kingdoms of this world are represented as become his kingdoms,' and he is said to reign for ever and ever, being (chap. xvii. 14,) 'Lord of lords, and King of kings !'

Chapter xix. 11, we meet with a description of this reigning King ; a description, which but ill agrees with the character of a mere man.

• His name (we are assured) is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on his head are many crowns; and he hath a name written, that no man knoweth but himself. And he is clothed with a vesture dipt in blood; and his name is called the Word of God! And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations : And he shall rule them with a rod of irou : And he treadeth the wine- press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture, and on his thigh, a name written, King of kings, and Lord of lords.'

In the 20th chapter is displayed, a great white throne, and he [a mere man, shall we say ?] that sits on it; from whose face the earth and the heaven flee away, and there is found no place for them : And the dead, small and great, stand before God, [Dr. Priestley says, before a mere man!) and the books are opened, and the dead are judged out of those things which are written in the books, according to their works.' Here the nere man appears to be the universal Judge, and they that stand before him, are said to stand before God ! And in the next chapter,

the same person is represented as the bridegroom of the church, which has its Maker, that is, on the Socinian hypothesis, a mere man, for its husband! · And he carried me away in the Spirit, to a great high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, having the glory of God. And I saw po temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty, and [a mere man!) the Lamb, are the temple of it; and the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it: For the glory of God, [the infinite Jehovah,] did lighten it, and the Lamb [a mere man!) is the light thereof.' As if one were to say,

The sun and a candle are the light of the world! And the nations of them that are saved, shall walk in the light of it,' viz., in the light issuing from Jehovah, and a mere man! “And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, but they who are written in the Lamb's book of life,' that is, the book of life of a mere mau !

And as Jehovah and a mere man, are the joint sources of light, so of life and consolation also. For, (chap. xxii. 1,) 'He shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb, [that is, the throne of Jehovah, and a mere man!] And, (verse 3,)-There shall be no more curse : But the throne of God (the Supreme Being] and of the Lamb [a mere man!] shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him, and they shall see his face, and his name shall be on their foreheads. - The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [that is, the grace of a mere man] be with you all ! Amen.'

Such is the doctrine of St. John, in the Apocalypse ; a doctrine, which, on the Socinian principles, can never be reconciled with commou sense. As little will any one be able to reconcile therewith the doctrine concerning Christ, taught in his gospel. This book, according to Jerome, (lib. de Scriptoribus Eccles.,) was

written after the Epistles, and the Apocalypse, at the request of the Bishops of Asia, “ against Cerinthus, aud other heretics, and chiefly agaiust the then spreading doctrine of the Ebionites, who asserted that Christ had no existence before Mary: For which reason (he tells us) he was constrained to speak plainly of his divine generation." That this account is true, we have every reason to believe, not only from the known veracity of Jerome, but also from the nature of the testimony, borne throughout this gospel concerning Christ; a testimony which, if supposed to be meant of a mere man, is certainly, to say the least, not intel. ligible. The following quotations make this manifest. - In the beginning was the Word, [viz, a mere man!] and the Word [this mere man!) was with God, and the Word [the same mere man] was God. All things were made by him, [even the whole creation, though it had been made at least 4000 years before he existed !] and without him (the same mere man] was not any thing made that was made. In him, (viz. in this mere man !] was life, and the life was the light of men; and the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehended it not. John [a mere man] was not that light, but came to bear witness of that light : That [mere man, Christ] was the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world!' A strange assertion truly! 'He [this mere man) was in the world, and the world was made by him, (was made by a mere man !] and the world knew him not. He came to his own, and his own received him not: But as many as received him, to them gave he [mere man as he was !] power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe in his name. And the Word [a mere mau !] was made flesh;-[I wish Dr. Priestley would tell us what he was before he was made fiesh,] and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, [that is, the glory of a mere man!] full of grace and truth: (A mere man full of grace and truth !] aud of his fulness (the

« AnteriorContinuar »