BLTC Press Titles


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My Man Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse


The Fairy Tale of the Green Snake and the Beautiful Lily

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Carlyle, Rudolf Steiner


The Art of Worldly Wisdom

Baltasar Gracian


The Characters of Theophrastus

Theophrastus


A treatise on the person and incarnation of Jesus Christ, in which some of the principal arguments of the Unitarians are examined

by David Henkel

Excerpt:

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled "an act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies, duringthe times therein mentioned."

R JEFFRIES, Cleric of tie Eastern District of Virginia,

SECTION I.

One of the principal arguments of the Unitarians is, that there can be no difference shewn between three divine persons and three beings. This is examined, and the distinction between the Father and the Son is somewhat tlucidated.

That God is but one being is admitted by all Christian denominations, and also by Mahometans, Deists and Devils. I shall therefore offer no proof in behalf of his unity. But that three persons arc God, deserves an investigation, to ascertain whether, or not such an idea 5s repugnant to his unity. Since God is but one being, Unitarians conclude that he is also only one in person : for they do not seem to perceive the least difference between a divine being and person. Accordingly, they employ this as one of their principal positions, from thence deducing sundry apparent formidable objections against the doctrine of Christ's eternal Godhead. For if no difference can be shewn between a divine being and person, then consequently, as the Father is God, Christ cannot also be God, without admitting a plurality of supreme Gods.

The rev. James Miller in a pamphlet entitled "Trinitarianism unmasked" says: "I defy Trinitarians to make a plain and scriptural distinction between a self-existent and intelligent substance, and a self-existent and intelligent subsistence ; or to prove that it takes three self-existent and intelligent subsistences to make one substance." p. S7. Again, "But notwithstanding the variety of opinions which have been formed on the subject, I shall endeavor to maintain the position that intelligent person, and intelli

fent being, are the same, or terms of synonymous signication ; &c." p. 43. He then proceeds, endeavoring to shew from sundry texts of scripture that human beings and persons are terms of a synonymous signification. It must be admitted that the term person generally denotes an intelligent being, having own separate existence, not subsisting in another. This term is also used with respect to God. Notwithstanding it would be incorrect to infer that the term person relative to God, indicated the very same in all respects as when applied to men and angels. Indeed, the scriptures employ terms relative to God and heavenly things, answering to things in nature. . Without such terms the scriptures would be utterly unintelligible. Notwithstanding this analogous language, it does not follow, that heavenly and divine things in their substance, and in all their relations are precisely like things in nature. As for instance : God is called a father, which is a term corresponding to a relation among men, i. e. to a human father ; yet it is evident that he in many respects is not like a human father. For all human fathers have a beginning of their existence, they are changeful and mortal ; whereas God is very different in these respects, for he is selfexistent, eternal, immutable and immortal.

If the term person relative to God, implied the same in all respects as when applied to man, then the term being would imply the same in either case.

Mr. Miller taking for granted that a human person implies the same as a divine person, he presumes that the idea of three persons being God is highly absurd. For he says : "Can any person believe that three humanpersons make but one man ? . How then can any man of common sense believe that three divine persons, each possessed of infinite perfections, make but one God ?" p. 93. Thus comparing God to a man, the same as Mr. Miller compares human to divine persons, he might also easily prove away all his supreme perfections. For if, as Mr. M. says : person and being are the same, and if the absurdity of three persons be inferred from the impossibility of three human persons being one man, then upon the same principle, it might be concluded that God is neither self-existent, nor eternal, nor omnipotent, nor infinite. Why so ? Answer. Because according to Mr. M's. logic, it might be said : can any person believe that a human person is self-existent, eternal, omnipotent and infinite ? How then can any man of common sense believe that God is self-existent, eternal, omnipotent and infinite ? Such a conclusion is groundless. Nevertheless, Mr. M. has introduced such, to overthrow the doctrine o'. the


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