than that for which we contend, that the tendency of the Bible is republican?

There are obvious applications of this proposition to great controversies at present waging in our land, reproving the extremes of the several antagonisms of opinion, and showing that in them, as in most angry disputes, “in medio tutissimus ibis.But these applications we forbear, and hasten to a close.

In view of the argument to which we have attended, we ask, Is not this Bible to us at once a most priceless and most perilous trust? Priceless in its use, and perilous in its neglect ? America with the Bible, the banded world cannot crush; America without it, the world cannot save. With it we have a wall of fire and a munition of rocks : without it we cast away the shield of protection, cut loose the sheet-anchor of safety, and in that fearful time of commotion soon to come on the earth, the first rushing of whose stormy pinions we can already hear in the distance; when there shall “be signs in the sun, the moon, and the stars, on the earth distress of nations and perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after the things that are coming on the earth ;" when every island, and sea, and mountain, shall flee from the presence of the Lamb, and the waves of this mighty flood-tide of the world shall dash against every institution, then this proud but rotten fabric of liberty, built as it would be on the shifting sands, must fall with a crash that shall startle the world. But if we cherish it and rest on it, it will be a girdle of adamant around our glorious Union; a fortress of defense against every foe; a living principle, by whose vital energy our nation shall advance rapidly and surely to the glittering point of greatness and power before it. Our children's children shall come and sit down beneath its hallowed protection; the footsteps of youth shall be stayed ; the energy of manhood directed; the tears of sorrow dried; the weakness and decrepitude of age strengthened; and when life's great task is done, the linked succession of faithful witnesses for God and truth, for religion and liberty, shall all be gathered to where “the wicked shall cease from troubling, and the weary be at rest.”

Art. IV.-The Sufferings of Christ. By a Layman. New-York :

Harper & Brothers. 1845.


Is there anything, inquires the Preacher, whereof it may be said, See, this is new? The question supposes a negative answer; and with reference to the dogma discussed in the volume before us, and a great majority of the arguments by which it is sustained, those who are acquainted with the early history of the church will agree with us in the opinion, that "it hath been already of old time which was before us.”

That dogma is, in the author's own language, "That the expiatory agonies of our Lord reached not only his humanity, but his very Godhead;" and that "to suffer and to die was the object for which the living God became the incarnate Captain of our salvation." We

say this heresy has not the piquancy of novelty. So early as the second century after Christ, the distinction of persons in the Holy Trinity was denied ; and a sect, not indeed numerous, nor yet destitute of learning, were called Patripassians, because they maintained that the great God, the Father of the universe, suffered, and agonized, and bled, and died, in the person of Jesus the Naza

In the third century Noetus of Smyrna avowed and advocated the same doctrine; contending that the supreme Being expiated the sins of men in his own proper person. Apollinaris, who was raised to the see of Laodicea in the fourth century, in his contest with Arius, ran into precisely the same doctrine as that now put forth in the volume before us, with the pompous pretensions of being some new thing. Like our author, the Laodicean bishop seems to have thought it an important and impregnable position, whence only it was possible successfully to assail his Unitarian opponents.

In opposition to this theory, which had been gaining proselytes during the second, third, and part of the fourth centuries, and to its utter demolition, Athanasius, the celebrated patriarch of Alexandria, put forth an elaborate argument, which is still extant; and which, down to the days of “a Layman,” has been considered as settling the question. Hence, what appears so strange to our author, namely, that the pulpit has been almost silent on this theme, and that he has searched in vain for arguments in modern theological treatises, is readily accounted for. The question was settled, and needed not discussion: a very different thing, we may say with our author's permission, from its being incapable of discussion, or unsusceptible of proof.

Let us not be understood as questioning the piety or the sincerity of our author. He has begun to search the Scriptures; and writes, apparently, with the conviction of having truth on his side. Bating his love for the grandiloquent, which occasionally drives him into bombast, and a misplaced floridity of style, the book speaks creditably for his scholarship.

In his first chapter he announces his belief in the doctrine of the trinity; and it is to his pressing this doctrine beyond Scriptural warrant, even so far as to overlook and keep out of sight the essential unity of the Godhead, that the originating idea of the theory, so far as our author is concerned, may be traced. Thus he says :

“If St. Paul, when caught up into the third heaven, was permitted to gaze, with adoring and melting eyes, on the glory and benignity of the Highest, his rapt vision was neither divided nor distracted by seeing, on the right-hand seat of the celestial throne, that Saviour who had died to redeem him, and, on the left-hand seat, that Holy Spirit who had regenerated, sanctified, and imbued with the balm of comfort, his persecuted and earth-wounded soul.”—P. 15.

That, we suppose, is meant for fine writing. Earth-wounded soul is pretty. Right-hand seat and left-hand seat are striking images; but we want something more from a teacher of theology than his mere assertion that Paul saw any such thing. The apostle does not intimate the least foundation for so glaring an absurdity. But further:

“In that temple of the highest heavens, consecrated as the abode of the Godhead, each of its divine persons enjoys blissful and untiring communion with his two other glorious selves.”—P. 17.

And again

“What desolation would pervade the courts of heaven, reaching even to the sanctuary of Him that sitteth upon the throne, could a ruthless arm of flesh pluck from his right hand and his left the beloved fellows of his eternal reign !”—P. 18.

Thus we see our author is sound upon the doctrine of a trinity of persons in the Godhead; and equally clear, if that left-hand idea do not imply inferiority, in his assertion of their essential co-equality. He entirely forgets, however, and for the sake of his argument it is necessary he should, that fundamental truth-these three are one. Hence, in this same chapter, in an attempt to answer the Socinian argument, that a plurality of persons tends to divide and distract devotional love and worship, he talks on this wise :

“ Had this distinguished man, she alludes to Channing, the Unitarian,) with feelings so true to nature, forgotten the blissful days of youth, when his gladsome eyes beheld, and his bounding heart leaped forth to greet, at the domestic altar, two distinct, yet united

personages, who both claimed and received his undivided and undiminished rererence, and gratitude, and love? Was his filial piety distracted by the plurality of its objects ? Did his heart yield a less true and fervent homage to his father, because the angel form of his mother was hovering around him, arrayed in the lovely habiliments of her own meekness, and gentleness, and grace? Did he find it needful, for the full concentration and development of filial devotion, that one of his parents should be for ever banished from the domestic hearth, leaving the other in cheerless solitude ?"-P. 14.

Here we have, evidently, the starting-point of our author's vagaries. In the “two distinct yet united personages,” whom we call father and mother, he professes to see a similitude and a type of the union subsisting between two of the persons in the Godhead. The idea is monstrous, and the analogy most preposterous. We blush for the thought which here occurs to us, but we must say, that upon the hypothesis of our author, he might with as much propriety introduce Channing's grandmother, as making a trio at the domestic altar; and “claiming and receiving”-inasmuch as to her he was indebted for at least one of his parents—his “undivided and undiminished reverence, and gratitude, and love." Would not a Layman” himself see the absurdity of his analogy, if he had pushed it thus far? Probably; and, if his eye falls upon this page, he will be angry with us for carrying out his dual idea, and making it illustrate his fundamentally erroneous conception of a trinity in unity. The most strenuous Socinian could have no very strong objection to the admission of such a union between the persons of the Godhead, as exists between the united head of an earth-born family. True, in a certain sense the husband and the wife are one; and what God hath joined together, Christ himself hath said, let no man put asunder. But in what sense are they one? Is it a union implying absolute equality? No; for the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church; and wives are commanded to be in subjection to their husbands, and to submit themselves unto them as unto the Lord. Nor is it such a union that the attributes of one may be predicated of the other. Timidity, gentleness, grace, belong to the female; the male may be equally characterized by boldness, impetuosity, sternness. By

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sympathy the one may, indeed, be a sharer in the joys and in the sorrows of the other; and what is done by the wife, for instance, in the absence of the husband, may, or may not, be ratified by him. But all this is far from being even a faint adumbration of the eternal unity of the Godhead. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, are one in an essential equality, one in all their attributes, one in such a sense, that what is affirmed of the Father, may with equal propriety be affirmed of the Son; and what is done by the second person in the Trinity, may, with equal truth, be attributed to the first, or third. The creation of the world, which Moses assigns to God, is, by John, declared to have been by the Word. The church, which Paul declares to have been so loved by Christ that he gave himself for it, is by the same apostle called the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood.” Peter asserts that he, whose heart Satan filled to lie to the Holy Ghost, had lied unto God; and while the Baptist declares that no man hath seen God at any time, and the apostle to the Gentiles speaks of that “ blessed and only Potentate whom no man hath seen nor can see,” Jesus Christ assures his disciples, without qualification or restriction,-"He that hath seen me, hath seen the Father.

This point being established, and we presume it needs not further argument or stronger evidence, our author's theory is reduced, unwittingly on his part, doubtless, to this absurdity: the truth of his proposition, that the expiatory agonies of our Lord reached not only his humanity, but his very Godhead, being admitted, it follows, that when Christ suffered, and was in agony, and expired, the Father and the Holy Spirit also suffered, and agonized, and died. We say this absurdity follows, if the three who bare record in heaven are one, and if the position of our author be admitted ; but this is alike revolting to our feelings and repugnant to the Scriptures, and hence the doctrine of “a Layman" cannot by any possibility be true. Which horn of the dilemma, the reader may ask, does our author choose? Does he crucify the Father and the Spirit; or does he run into tritheism, and deny the fundamental truth-there is one God? We may not answer that question. Courtesy to a tyro in religious authorship, and charity to a wellmeant attempt to set the Christian world right, both forbid us to charge upon him consequences which he did not foresee, resulting in doctrines which he would assuredly disavow. It is, however, evident that during the whole course of the author's reasoning he appears to forget, to lose sight of, or to overlook, the essential and eternal unity of the sacred three; and when pressed with a difficulty like that we have here presented, as in his attempted confu

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