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attempt had been made in any part of the New Testament to disguise the ignominy of the crucifixion ; if the necessity of it had not been repeatedly maintained by our Lord himselft; if Christ crucified had been a stumbling block to any but the Jews, an absurdity to any but the Greeks; and if he had not always been in the judgment of his disciples “ the power of God, and the “ wisdom of God";" there might have been some pretext for these absurd and unjust insinuations ; absurd in imputing to his disciples a desire of doing what it was not in their power to do, and unjust in ascribing to them a sense of shame which it was not in their nature to feel. Without falsifying the Scriptures, without entirely destroying them, they could not suppress the fact, that their master was a crucified Jew; and it was in this crucified Jew, raised from the dead, and exalted to the right hand of God in heaven, that they learned
* Matt. xvi. 21. xx. 19. Mark ix. 31. X. 34. Luke xviii. 33. xxiv. 7. 26.
u 1 Cor. i. 23, 24.
to glory; and in him, not only not to elevate, but to hold in the utmost abhorrence and contempt the weakness and the worthlessness of all the heroes and demigods of the heathen mythology.
Let it not be imputed to an indifference or unconcern to the truth, if we forbear to express what the occasion might justify; if we omit to take advantage of these conflicting statements which have been recited; if we proceed to the confutation of them in the spirit of meekness, and with the soberness of scriptural argument; and if no passionate exclamation is extorted by the recorded confession of an Unitarian: "Were “ I to be convinced that Jesus possessed a “ nature infinitely beyond human nature, “ I should cease to perceive the simplicity “ of truth x.” Our faith is not shaken, though it be “ involved in all the mystery 6 of a two-fold nature in the man Christ “ Jesus Y;” because in proportion to the mystery of the doctrine is the improbability that it should have been invented by
* Carpenter, p. 70.
y Ibid. p. 256.
the fraud or received by the credulity of men, or entertained upon any other principle than a full and deliberate conviction of its scriptural, apostolical, and divine authority. The most rigid Unitarian does not believe more fully than we believe, that Jesus was a man,-a man from God”; that he was born of a woman a ;” that “as " the children are partakers of flesh and “ blood, he also himself likewise took part “ of the same b;" and that in all things, except sin, it behoved him to be like unto his brethren. When however we find the word mand appropriated to a higher order of beings, and not descriptive of what the Unitarian calls “ a proper hu“ man being,” and when we find many descriptions of Jesus relating to his becoming flesho, to his being manifested in the flesh, to his being born or descended in the flesh, highly inappropriate to a
z Acts ii. 22. avage ato T8 ©£8 atrodedELYMEVOV gis vuas. a Gal. iv. 4. b Heb. ii. 14. c Heb. iv. 15. ii. 17.
d Compare Luke xxiv. 4. 23. also Acts i. 10. and x. 30. with xi. 13.
e John i. 14. fi Tim. iii. 16. 8 Rom. i. 3. ix. 5.
mere mortal man, we are constrained not to deny his humanity, but to contend for a higher nature in connection with his humanity.
Our faith advances as we observe the descriptions of his preexistence. We hear him asserting his existence before Abraham", and alluding to the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, and to the love with which he was loved before its foundation'. We hear also his “ beloved disciple declaring, that in the “ beginning was the Word, and the “ Word became flesh,” and that Isaiah “ saw his glory!.” We hear also his forerunner, the Baptist, asserting, that he who came after him was before him", and his Apostle St. Paul designating him “ the first" born of every creature," or the one born before all creation ", and insisting upon his presence with the Israelites in the wilder
h John viii. 58.
i John xvii. 5. 24. k John i. 1. 14. . ! John xii. 41. Isaiah vi. 1.
m John i. 15. 30. OTIOW us EgXETas arne, og eur poo Jev us TETONEN• OTI TPWTOS yu. 'n Col. i. 15. AQWTOTOXOS TAONS XTIO EWS.
ness". There is therefore a full series of scriptural testimonies to justify our belief in the preexistence of Christ : and our faith proceeds to the incarnation of this preexistent spirit. This incarnation we infer from the texts in which the Son is said to have been sent into the world”, the Word to have become flesh”, the Son of God to have been born of a woman', and the Christ to have been born or descended, to have comet, to have been manifested , and to have been put to death”, in the flesh to have been sent in the likeness of sinful fleshy, to have taken upon him the form of a servant, to have been made in the likeness of men, and being found in fashion as a man, to have humbled himself and become obedient unto death”.
Such expressions could not with any propriety be applied to a proper human being, but they do justly and fitly designate the
• 1 Cor. ix. 4.
p John iii. 17.