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e natural seli ili more inclains alouchat it is
studying the Scriptures, wherein our duty is so plainly revealed.”
Besides if natural religion teaches us but imperfectly our duty to man, it leaves us still more in the dark respecting our duty to God. Nature, indeed, proclaiins aloud “ there is a God," and every one has a naiural conviction that it is right to worship him; witness the heathens of all climates, whom I believe, without exception, worship a something as their God, but revealed religion alone has given us a clear dilcovery of the nature and attributes of that deity, so universally acknowledged, and pointed out the true method of worshiping him acceptably. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him nuft worship him in Spirit and in truth, is the language of inspiration. But even those few Déifts among us, who have not cast off morality, are at least chargeable with, and highly culpable for a neglect of he worship of God, and a total deviation from the duties of the first table, which teach them, (as they affirm their natural religon does; and would to God if it does, they would obey its teachings) to worship, to reverence, to obey himn in all things.
It is an observation I have made, and perhaps it has not altogether escaped the notice of others; that our modern Deists, or the greater part of them have a particular propensity to absent themselves from public worship: how can it be otherwise indeed? Can we expect them to listen to truths which they despise? By no means, except it be to criticise on them, and ridicule the simple faith of the Christian who is determined to believe what God hath revealed, tho' in some instances he is not at present in a capacity to comprehend the whole of several revealed truths, yet he is enabled to distinguish between those things that are incredible and those which are merely incomprehensible; and, as in Providance where he cannot unriddle,' he learns to trust, so in grace, where he cannot understand he learns to adore. But ihose who set up their reason in opposition to faith, and flippose that this sublunary spark as Dr. Young emphatically stiles it is sufficient to comprehend all neceljary tru: hs, and that those which it cannot coinprchend are of consequence to be rejected, make a grand miltake as well as act inconsistent : with other parts of their conduct : for they are obliged to believe many things in nature, which the utmost stretch of their boafled reafon cannot fully comprehend, such as the growth
of plants, the formation of the body, the union of the body and soul, &c.
Even Lord Bolingbroke will confess this much, and ad. mit that there are many appearances in the physical and moral systems, which cannot be fully comprehended, yes are not repugnant to any excellency of the Supreme Being, (and consequently not incredible) but that I may not do injustice to so eminent a writer, I will transcribe his own words, as they contain a concellion not often to be met with in the writings of Deists.
“ There are many appearances no doubt in the physical and moral systems, which may pass for mysteries, because we cannot fully comprehend them; but there is nothing in eicher of these,” (and I may add or in any of ihe doctrines of revealed religion) “ repugnant to any excellency which we ought to attribute to the Supreme Being WŁ CONFESS OUR IGNORANCE BUT WE DO NOT THERE FOR E CALL IN QUESTION THE DIVINE ATTRIBUTES, nor disbelieve those lyr. tems to be his work, nor the law of nature to be his law." Vide Lord Bolingbroke's Letter occalioned by one of Archbishop Tillotson's Sermons, in his Lordship’s works, Quarto Edition.
Faith teaches nothing contrary to, though above rein;. the latter has more to do with Christianiiy than the Deifts are perhaps aware of: They say our system thuis out reason, and pretend to monopolize that necellary article to themselves; but to such I would address myseit in the language of the great Dr. Young, who thews us the happy effects of a coinbination, of reason and faith, which the Caristian system allows.
“ Ye pompous sons of reason, idolized
“ Wrong not the Christiar, think not reason yours? . "'Tis reason, our great master holds fo dear,.
“'Tis reason's injured rights, his wrath resents ;
I was insensibly led into this digression from the mentioning of a phrase which the DEISTS and FREETHINKERS of the age we live in, are very partial 10- mean REASON. But to return; the gentlemen I have been speaking of, are not only liable to a propensity of absenting themselves from the public worship of God, (which the before-mentioned reasons account for,) but negleat the worshipping of God in private. I have observed it in several that I hare conversed with, that they do not see the actual nę. cefsity of the duties of the first table, or those which relate to (and command) the worship of God, neither are they over and above scrupulous in obferving the Lord's day., « The whole of religion (say they) consilts in doing as you would be done by:" my usual reply, to such an infinuation as this, is generally . No fir,' that is but the half of religion, (though I grant it may be considered as the best half, for I look upon piety without morality, if it were poffible to separate them, to Be worse than morality without piety). It takes in our duty to man, but not to the deity: a man may act agreeable to that rule, yet be guilty of defrauding God of that worship which is due from every creature to his Creator."-I can al. ways fee, however, that they are willing to dispenfe with át, and for the most part do dispense with it, which must be also evident to those who dwell under the same roof with any of that descriprion ; at the same time candour calls upon me to admit that others are equally apt to neglect those duties ; but I mention this defect in them because it arisës not from a frailty of conduct merely, but an error in judgment springing from their avowed sentiments, which they allow themfelves in.
The only worship which Deifs approve of, and some of them (I fear not many) condescend to practise, is a mere acknowledgment of God, but as to praying to himn in private, or allembling with otliers for the purpose of public prayer, or to hear his word preached, they leave that for those to do who believe in a revelation, that dictates and enforces it: and who are timid enough to fear a future punishment for fins of om fion as well as commission. 'Tis no part of their Creed, and therefore they do not practise it, August 12,. 17974
DEITY OF CHRIST.
(Continued from page 527, of Vol. I.) SIR, T NOW resume the fubject under debate, by noticing the i little criticism which Mr. Thompson makes upon the use of the Greek article o, which according to the graminarical declension in the accusative case is ton when joined to Theon, as in John i. 1. On this Mr. T. says, ' Observe the particular distinction made between the God, with whom the Word was, and the Word hiinself.' The Apostle says, “ In the begin. ning was the Word, and the Word was with ton Theon,” the God, or the supreme ruler: “and the Word was, Theos," a god, or ruler, i.e. one that had dominion under God. Here are two beings distinctly spoken of, one said to be with the other ia the beginning, and each cailed God; though with the diftinaion before mentioned in the original, which must certainly be intended to keep us from the error of having more gods than one." I ask, Does Mr. T. mean to impose upon his readers? or is he imposed upon himself? Can it be that he should suppose the use of the article o, in any of its declensions, should have the power to point out the Father as the supreme God, and the omillion of it to the Son, as an inferior God? For the article is sometimes omitted when Theos is applied to the Father, and used when the same word is applied to the Son ; see Tit. i. The word Theos, God, occurs four times in the first four verses, and each time without the article in the Greek Testament. It is presumed Mr. T. will not dispute but that the Father is there meant. According to his criticism, therefore, the Father is only called a God, not the God, by way of eminence. But in Matt. i. 23, where the Son is called God with us, there the article is prefixed to Theos; as also in Heh. i. 9. thy throne O God, &c. so that according to Mr. T. the Son is by way of eininence called the God, while the Father by way of inferiority is only called a God. I only mention these as a sample, but could bring forward more instances, if necessary
If Mr. T. is possessed of such proof of the inferiority of the Son to the Father, it is pity he has made use of so low a criticisin as the above. I might with much more truth observe, that the literal reading of John i. 1. is, « In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and God was the Word (kai Theos en e Logos). But as I do not think that
the do&trine of the Deity of Christ rests upon a mere verbal criticism or iwo, I shall leave the reader to make his own reflections upon this. '
Mr. T. like all other gentlemen on his side of the question, talks much of the unity of God, and appropriates the i, name of Unitarian to himself and those of his own sentiment. But give me leave to say that I think there is some deception in this, because it implies more than is true, for it implies that all who hold the Deity of Christ believe in twa Gods, and consequently are not Unitarians, but Dualians. But, Sir, I as much believe the unity of God as Mr. T. or any other man, and I think that our Lord has taught me so to do, for he has not only said, “This is the first commandment, the Lord our God is one Lord, and there is no other God but one;'. but he hath also said, 'I and the Father are one. And when Philip said, “Shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us:' he said unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet haft thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father ; and how sayest thou, shew us, the Father? Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of myfelf; but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works: believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me.'
Mr. T. may be poffelfed of greater intellectual powers than
I am: he perhaps understands fully how the Father and the : - Son are.one, so that he who hath seen the Son hath seen the
Father also. I confess I do not understand it ; but with the deepest humility of heart I do what Christ requested Philip to do, I believe that the Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father, and he that hath seen the Son, hath seen the Father also. And however any may sneer at me for thus believing, yet I can but think I act ra!ionally in it. For, first, I have the most profound reverence for the character and person of Christ. I think his credibility is such as ought to command my faith in every thing which he has said, even though I cannot fully understand it. Secondly, I do not fully understand the mode of my own existence. I am positive I have a loul, I am sensible of its operations at this moment. I know that my body is not my soul, and I know that my soul is not my body : I know also that my soul and body are one man ; but how, or by what tie, they are united so as to make one man, I do not know, it is above iny reason to comprehend it. Hence I am constrained to believe something concerning my own existence, which I do not understand. If then I find'