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be not too hasty in writing in a wanton, trifling way. Divine things are dangerous things to play with. Yours in Christ very affectionately,
W. H. Church street, Paddington,
Dec. 20, 1793.
To T. LOUD,
AT MR. LONGMAN'S, MUSICAL-INSRUMENT-MAKER,
THERE are some things in your creed repugnant to the word of God; and, as you seem to be assiduous in circulating them, and very obstinate and immovable in them, I am constrained to set truth against them, that the gracious may see you and shun you. I know there must be heresies in the churches, that the contrary part may be made manifest; and that those which are not of God may be discovered, and go out, or be put out, from among them that are of God: and I much fear that this is your case; and perhaps in some future period you may find it so to your sorrow. You are gazing through the bounds, and stumbling upon the dark mountains, where thousands have mounted the scorner's chair and at last have been drowned in destruction and perdition. Your positively asserting, and obsti
nately insisting, when at my house, that the Godhead of Christ was changed into real flesh and blood; that his Godhead, thus changed, died upon the cross; and that the soul of Christ descended into hell, and lay there three days and three nights; appear to me contrary to the scriptures of truth.
And indeed I think you perverted every scriptural "text that you quoted. As to your insisting that the children of God are under the law as a rule of life, I wonder not at; for you never was delivered from the law. This appears plain by your pride and obstinacy; for the law does not exclude boasting. And your having the old vail still upon your heart is another proof that you are not got from that mount. Your blindness and ignorance in the above things, demonstrates it, as well as your countenance. Indeed I never liked your religion in my heart, from the first account I had of it; and it was not without difficulty that you got in among us. But you told me, when at my house, that you knew not then what you believed, nor do you know what you believe now. You are more wise in your own conceit, but I think far more ignorant, and further from the truth, now, than ever you have been yet. But to proceed to these points in hand.
“ The word was made flesh.” This is true, but not in the sense you hold it. The Godhead was not changed into flesh and blood. This is conversion, not union; it is converting one nature into another; not uniting two distinct natures together, so as to become one person. Changing one substance into another is transubstantiation, not incarnation. Such a change of nature differs much from that of a divine person assuming, or taking human nature into union with himself. The first of these is an error, the latter is a gospel truth. This union, being ordained in the ancient settlements of eternity, took place in the virgin's womb, not after the human nature was formed, nor yet after it was born; for this would have been joining, or uniting, two persons together, instead of uniting two natures in one person. The Holy Spirit, who moved upon the face of the waters at the creation of the world, and separated the light from the darkness; who gathered the waters into seas, and made the dry land appear; who garnished the heavens, and spread the face of the earth with all its verdant herbage and vegetation, had a hand in this mysterious, this wonderful conception. Hence the angel's answer to the virgin's modest inquiry “How shall this be?” &c. “ The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee.” Under which Almighty power and prolific overshadowing, the seed passed from the loins to the womb. “ Thou shalt conceive in thy womb,” said the angel, &c. In which the wonderful conception and mystic union took place between the person of the Son of God and the virgin's seed. He was made, touching his humanity, of a woman. He was the woman's seed, made of the substance of her body. And this human nature was so wonderfully prepared by Jehovah, as that it should not be in the least tainted with original sin, nor with one sinful infirmity; that it might be entirely pure, and as proper as possible to be in union with so great a person; and that Adam, in innocence, might be a figure of him that was to come. On which account, though born of a woman, he is called a holy thing. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? I answer, man cannot. But the angel told Mary that with God nothing should be impossible, therefore God can do it, and God has done it," A body hast thou prepared me."
Furthermore, the human nature of Christ never did exist of itself; hence it is called a holy thing, not a person, because it never had any existence but in union with the eternal Word; which union took place in the virgin's womb; and which union never was, nor ever will be, dissolved. Moreover, this assumption of human nature, and union with it, made no change or alteration in the Lord's divinity. He was God from everlasting, before this union took place, and no less than God with us after it took place; and by this union he became what he never was before, God incarnate, or “ God manifest in the flesh;" which manifestation was in these last times for us, and never before.
The words, made flesh, do not signify a converting or changing one nature into another, When we hear of persons being created Peers, made Earls, or Lords, or made Chancellor, or Lord of the Household, we understand no such change by it; but that titles of honour are thereby conferred, and persons appointed to, and invested with such or such an office. And, when we read that the word was made flesh, it means he was invested with human nature, “ clothed with a vesture dipt in blood.” And, when it is said God hath made Jesus both Lord and Christ, it means the appoint ment of God. It was the decree of God to join the Son's Godhead to manhood, to which the Son agree. The Father was to prepare the body, which the Son assumed in nature, and in which he was to do the will of God, which was his heart's delight; and in which nature he was made a middle person, and made or appointed King and Mediator. When it is said that “ The last Adam was made a quickening Spirit,” we neither understand a.change, nor yet a creation, by it: but that the Lord from heaven, who is an uncreated Spirit,
was appointed and sent to assume human nature, . and in it to quicken dead sinners, or to give eternal life to as many as the Father had given him.
Mr. Loud must learn to distiņguish between the body prepared, and he that came to do the will of God in it; between the vesture dipped in blood, and the word that wore it; between the gift, and the altar that sanctified the gift; between the tabernacle that God pitched, and the Shekina that tabernacled in it; between the vail,