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in which he says, “ Jesus Christ was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh; but the Son of God, ac. cording to the Spirit of holiness," Rom. i, 3. A third, in which, speaking of Jesus Christ, he says, “ He came not in the pomp of pride and arrogance, although he had it in his power, but in humility.” · More ancient copies, (those which Jerome used,) instead of kaltep dvvauEvos, although he had it in his power,'had kaltep navra duvauevos, although he had all things in his power.' The expressions clearly imply that, ere he came, he had the power to choose, and that all things were in his power :" (Horsley's Letters, p. 131:) i. e., both his pre-existence and his omnipotence.
Ignatius, bishop of Antioch, was a disciple and familar friend of the apostles. His short epistles are replete with testimonies of the pre-existence and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is not necessary for us to attempt a vindica. tion of their genuineness against the cavils of Socinians. The reader may consult, on this subject, Dr. Horsley's Letters to Dr. Priestley. If those epistles are not genu. ine, they cannot be produced against us. If they are genuine, they are evidence in our favour. The following passages may suffice to illustrate their general tenor :1. On the pre-existence of Christ : 66 Who was with the Father before all ages, and appeared at the end of the world.” (Ad. Mag. sec. 5.) 2. On the twofold nature of Christ: “Of the race of David, according to the flesh, but the Son of God, according to the will and power of God.” (Ad. Smyr. sec. 5.) 3. Of the divinity of Christ : “ I glo. rify God, even Jesus Christ.” (Ad. Smyr. sec. 1.) 4. Of the worship of Christ : "Pray to Christ for me, that by the beasts I may be found a sacrifice to God." (Ad. Rom. sec. 4.) 5. Of the trinity : “ Be ye strengthened in the concord of God, enjoying his inseparable Spirit, which is Jesus Christ.” (Ad Mag. sec. 13.)
Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna, was a disciple of St. John In his epistle to the Philippians, speaking of Jesus Christ, he says, “Whom every living creature shall worship. (Sec. 2.) The following passage, in which he prays to Jesus Christ, and calls him “the Son of God,” (a term which, as we have shown, indicated a divine person,) is quoted by Mr. G. : “ The Son of God, Jesus Christ,
build you up in faith," &c. (Epist. to Phil. sec. 12.) “ When he was at the stake, he finished his prayer with these words :— For this, and for all other things, I praise thee, I bless thee, I glorify thee, by the eternal and heavenly high priest, Jesus Christ, thy beloved Son ; with whom, to thee, and to the Holy Spirit, be glory both now and to all succeeding ages. Amen.” (Martyr. of Polycarp, sec. 14.) Irenæus, bishop of Lyons, was a disciple of Polycarp.
“We show that the Word, existing in the be. ginning with God, united himself to the work of his own hands, when he became a man capable of suffering. (Lib. iii, cap. 20.) Again : “To this purpose our Lord came to us, not so as he might have come, but so as we might be able to behold him; for he might have come to us in his own unspeakable glory, but we should not have been able to endure the magnitude of his glory." (Adv. Hæret. lib. iv, cap. 74.) “The Scripture (says he) is full of the Son of God's appearing, sometimes to talk and eat with Abraham ; at another time to seek Adam ; at another time to bring down judgment upon Sodom ; then again to direct Jacob in the way; and again to con. verse with Moses out of the bush." (Lib. iv, cap. 23.) 6 The Father of our Lord Jesus manifests and reveals himself to all, to whom he is at all revealed, by his Word, who is his Son. For they know the Father, to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. Now the Son, co-existing always with the Father, reveals the Father of old, even always from the beginning, to angels and archangels, and powers and dominions, and to men.” (Lib. ii, cap. 55.) He adds, “Every knee should bow to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour; and King, according to the good pleasure of the invisible Father.” (Lib. i, cap. 2.) “ The Father, by his own Word and Spirit, makes, governs, and gives being to all things.” (Lib. i, cap. 22, sec. 1.) “ For his. Word and his Wisdom, the Son and the Holy Spirit are always with him; by whom and with whom he made all things freely, and of his own accord, to whom he also spake in these words, Let us make man in our image and likeness." (Lib. i, cap. 37.)
Justin Martyr, a Christian apologist, wrote about the year 140. He says, “ But the Son of the Father, even he who alone is properly called his Son, the Word which was with him before the creation, because by him he in the beginning made and disposed all things," &c. (Apol.) And again : “ But this Being, who was really begotten of the Father, and proceeded from him, did, before all creatures wore made, exist with the Father, and the Father con. versed with him.” (Dial. cum Tryph.) Once more :“God, and his only begotten Son, together with the Spirit, we worship and adore.” (Apol.)
Athenagoras was another Christian apologist who wrote in the second century. Speaking of the Son, he says, “ He is to the Father as the first offspring; not as some. thing made. For God, being an eternal intelligence, him. self from the beginning had the Logos in himself, being eternally rational.” (Horsley's Letters, p. 59.)
Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, was also a writer of the second century, in defence of Christianity. Addressing himself to Autolycus, he says, “ It was to no other that he said, Let us make, than to his own Word, and to his own Wisdom.” Again : 6 The three days which preceded the creation of the luminaries, were types of the trinity, tpiados; of God, and of his Word, and of his Wis. dom.” (Ad Autolyc. p. 114.) The passage just quoted from Irenæus shows that, by “his Word and his Wisdom, the writers of this age meant “the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
Clemens of Alexandria, an eminent writer of the se. cond century, says,
6 The Son of God is always every. where, and contained nowhere : all mind, all light, all eye of his father, beholding all things, hearing all things, knowing all things.” And again : “ Ignorance cannot affect God, him that was the Father's Counsellor before the foundation of the world.” (Stom. lib. vii, cap. 2.)
Tertullian is the last writer of this century to whom we appeal. The following passage is translated from his treatise, de Prescriptione, by Dr. Priestley, and acknow. ledged by him to contain the catholic faith. The rule of faith, “ by which we are taught to believe that there is but one God, and this no other than the Maker of the world, who produced every thing out of nothing, by his own Word then first sent down: that that Word was called his Son ; that he appeared variously in the name of God, (i. e., being called Jehovah,) to the patriarchs: that he was afterward conveyed, by the Spirit and power of God, the Father, into the Virgin Mary: that he was made flesh in her womb, and from her appeared in the person of Je. sus Christ.” (Remarks on Mr. Badcock's Review, p. 18.)
That some should be dissatisfied with the terms trinity, economy, &c., which began to be invented and adopted in the times of Tertullian, as Mr. G., quoting that author, has specified, (vol. ii, p. 76,) is not matter of wonder. The frequent discussion of these subjects led to the adoption of compendious terms and phrases, which, however proper, might easily give offence, especially as Theodotius, the tanner of Byzantium, was then preaching at Rome the Unitarian doctrine of the mere humanity of Jesus Christ. (Dr. Horsley to Dr. Priestley, Let. xiv, sec. 6.) We have not, however, undertaken to vindicate these scholastic terms, but the scriptural truth, with which, therefore, they are not to be identified.
Of the Scriptural Use of the Doctrine of the Trinity.
HOWEVER the prying curiosity of speculative minds may wish to extract from the Scriptures a theory of the trinity, the sacred books will afford them no satisfactory instruc. tion on that mysterious subject, abstracted from its prac. tical use.
A careful perusal of the Old and the New Testament may soon convince the reader that those books are intended to humble the pride of the human understand. ing, and to amend the heart. Let no one therefore ima. gine that his views of the subject are correct and scriptural, if he do not enter into the spirit and design of the sacred writers, and study the mysterious relation of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in the light of that practical use with which it is always connected, from which it can never, without detriment, be disjoined, and for the sake of which it is revealed. The following may serve to exemplify the use which the sacred writers make of it.
« God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish,
but have everlasting life," John iii, 16. To produce and prepare a body" for the Son,
“ the Holy Spirit came upon the virgin, and the power of the highest over. shadowed her.” The Son obediently accepted the Father's commission, and said, “ A body hast thou pre. pared me. Lo, I come to do thy will, O God!" Heb. X, 5, 7. He “came forth from the Father and came into the world,” John xvi, 28. Thus, “ when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons," Gal. iv, 5, 6.
The Father acknowledged the Son, and while "the Holy Ghost descended upon” the latter, “a voice came from heaven which said, Thou art my Son, in thee I am well pleased,” Luke iii, 21, 22. The attention of the
uman race was called by the Father to the Son, when a voice proceeded from the excellent glory, “ This is my beloved Son, hear ye him,” Luke ix, 35. “ It pleased the Father that in his dear Son should all fulness" of the Spirit 6. dwell,” Col. i, 19. When, therefore, the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten (Son) of the Father, full of grace and truth,” John i, 14. Anointed with all the fulness of the Holy Ghost, the Son went forth, declaring to mankind the Father. He, whom God had sent, spake the words of God; for God gave not the Spirit by measure to him," John iii, 34. “The Spirit of the Lord, said he, is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor: he hath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord,” Luke iv, 18. Speaking the words of the Father, and delivering the Father's commandments, the Son, John xii, 49, by the Spirit of God, wrought divine miracles, and confirmed the Father's word, by doing the works of the Father ; " that the Father might be glorified in the Son.” “My Father worketh hitherto, (said he,) and I work. The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do ; for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. For as the Father raiseth up the dead, even so