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portion, nor a common inheritance. The admission of one omnipotent excludes that of a second omnipotent; of one infinite that of a second infinite; of one eternal and uncaused being, that of another eternal and uncaused being: all addition or multiplication of divine persons is precluded by the very idea of God, who must be the sole possessor of absolute perfection,
The Divine Unity is not a barren speculation, or a solitary truth. This single proposition, standing as the representative of its kindred truths and genuiue consequences, is the substance of Christianity. It is the sun in the firmament of religious knowledge; inferior doctrines are bound to it, as by the attractive power of nature; they shine in its light, and round it revolve in harmony. It would not be difficult, by fair argumentation, to trace this affinity; but without entering on so wide a field, we would observe that Scripture has blended the Divine Unity with whatever it has declared of most importance in faith or practice:- with the fatherly character of God; “ To us there is one God, the Father;"
one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all:"—with his unrivalled goodness; “Why callest thou me good ? There is none good but one; that is God:"with the limited and temporary dispensation of Judaism ; “ Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is
one Lord:"-with the universality of Christianity; “ The Lord shall be king over all the earth. In that day shall there be one Lord, and his name One:"-with the certainty of prophecy; “I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:"-with divine homage; “ Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve:"--with the mission of Christ, and eternal life; “ This is life eternal, to know thee, the only true God; and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent:"_with the impartiality of the divine dealings; “ Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, seeing it is one God:"-with the mediation of the man Christ, and the universality of salvation; “ There is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all:”—with the summary of our duty; “ There is one God; and there is none other but he: and to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is better than all whole burnt-offerings and sacrifices :"--with the abhorrence of oppression, injustice and unkindness; “ Have we not all one Father and, hath not one God created
us?"-with the glowing language of devotion; « Now unto the King eternal, immortal and invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever!"* Let not, then, the suspicion be harboured, or the charge adduced, that we over-rate this tenet, for we only follow the leading of Scripture in raising it to the highest elevation.
The discussion of Unitarianism has been much embarrassed, and its cause injured, by its being mixed up with the private opinions of its friends. There is gross mistake, or wilful injustice, in reckoning whatever is held by certain Unitarians essential to Unitarianism itself. The humanity of Christ is not essential to Unitarianism. Although differing from most respectable authority, I have no hesitation in deeming such limitation most improper. It is inconsistent with the etymology and meaning of the term, and its historical use., Dr. Price was an Unitarian as well as Dr. Priestley: so is every worshipper of the Father only, whether he believe that Christ was created before all worlds, or first existed when born of Mary. Philosophical Necessity is no
* 1. Cor. viii. 6; Ephes. iv. 6; Matt. xix. 17; Deut. vi. 4;, Zech. xiv. I; Isaiah xlvi. 9, 10; Matt. iv. 10; John xvii. 3; Romans iii. 29, 30; 1 Tim. ii. 5, 6; Mark xii. 32, 33; Mal. ii. 10; 1 Tim. i. 17. The word “ wise" is omitted, according to the corrected text of Griesbach.
part of Unitarianism: to some Unitarians it seems the plain dictate of reason and Scripture, illustrative of the character of God and plans of Providence, a glory around the cross of faith, and a rock for the anchor of hope; but others think it inconsistent with the threatenings and promises of God, and the responsibility of man; and a similiar diversity obtains among the speculative of other denominations. Materialism is no part of Unitarianism. Some of us believe that man is formed of one substance, others of two: some that unconsciousness prevails from death to the resurrection; and others that the transition is immediate to bliss and glory, or to punishment, of the separated spirit. The denial of angels or devils is no part of Unitarianism : some believe in one, or the other, or in both. There are certain doctrines which we agree in asserting, and others commonly held which we deny. While such passages as the following remain, to each of which might be added a number of similar declarations, we cannot admit the doctrines to which they are opposed, of a Trinity, the equality of Christ with the Father, imputed sin or righteousness, and viodictive or eternal punishment: “ There is none other God, but one.” “ Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” My Father is greater than I.” “ The head of Christ is God.” “ The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,
neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son.”
“ Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father, which is in heaven." “ God will not always chide, neither will he keep his anger for ever."* While, on the other hand, the notions of Christianity which prevail amongst us, of the proper unity, benevolent character and sole claim to worship, of God, the Father; the mission of Christ for the salvation of the world ; the necessity of holiness alone for obtaining the divine favour; a resurrection to impartial judgment; and the ultimate restoration of all things, are not only scriptural in each particular, but, combined, present the great outline of New Testament teaching.
“I am the first, and I am the last, and besides me there is no God.” “ God is love." hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father." anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the holy spirit and with power.” “ The Father sent the Son to be the saviour of the world."
of God, which bringeth salvation to all men, hath appeared, teaching us that denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly, in this present world.” “ There
* 1 Cor. viii. 4; Exodus xx. 3; John xiv. 28; 1 Cor. xi. 3; Ezek. xviii, 20; Matt. vii. 21; Psalm ciii. 9.