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This is nothing to the fact I am confides . ing.—The power, in particular, which the Scriptures teach us that Christ poffesses of raising to life all who have died and all who will die, is equivalent to the power of creating a world. How inconfistent is it to allow to him one of these powers, and at the same time to question whether he could lrave poffefsed the other? to allow that he is to restore and newcreate this world; and yet to deny that he might have been God's agent in originally forming it's
Our brethren among modern Socinians seem to feel this difficulty; and therefore give a new interpretation of the Scripture account of Christ's present power and dignity.-Mr. LINDSEY says in his Sequel, page 466, &c. that the exaltation of Christ to God's righthand, far above all might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world but in that which is to come ; angels, authorities, and powers being made fubje&t to him; is spoken of in accommodation to the ideas of the Jews and Gentiles of those days who believed there were such spiritual beings as angels and
According to some of the old Socinian writers, Christ, after his resurrection, reigned over all nature, and became the L 3
demons; and means only the display of a Divine power in the support of the Gospel and its establishment among men.
The throne to which Christ was advanced was, according to him, (lb. p. 243.) not any station of dignity in heaven, but the subjection of the world to his Gospel; and his glory with the father, mentioned John xvii. 5. was the glorioựs success of the Gospel. His power over all flesh (John xvii. 2.) to give eternal life to as many as the Father had given him, was only his power to afford men full af“ furance of the benevolent purpose of God to bestow 66 eternal life upon them, and to furnish them with * the means of virtue that lead to it.” P. 249.
Agreeably to the prejudices and Imaginations of “ Jews and Gentiles, the subjection of all mankind “ to the rules of piety and virtue delivered by Christ “ is shadowed out under the imagery of a mighty so king to whom all power was given in heaven and 66 earth, placed above angels, principalities, &c.” P. 473. However fingular these interpretations may appear, no one ought hastily to condemn them, withbout considering what so excellent a man says to juftify them in the passages to which I have referred. It
object of religious worship". It is fura prising that men so enlightened on religious subjects as to be the wonder of the times in which they lived, did not feel the extravagance there is in ascribing to a mere man an advancement so sudden and astonishing. It is a circumstance much in favour of Christianity that, instead of asserting any such doctrine, it teaches us that the same Christ who after his resurrection had all power given him in heaven and earth, poffeffed glory with God before the world was; and that, when he ascended to heaven, he only regained a former ftation, and entered upon a dignity to which he had long risen, with such additions to it and such encreased powers, as were the proper
is probable that he interprets in a like fenfe Christ's declaration that he is the RESURRECTION AND the Life, and understands by it only his being the REVEALER of a future life. But I fall indeed wonder if his good sense and candour will allow him to give the same sense to such texts as the following.- John vi. 40. And I will ruise him up at the last day.—John v. 29. The hour is coming in which all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and Mall come forth; they that have done good to the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil to the resurrection of damnation. --Phil. v. 20, 21. Our conversation is in heaven, from whence we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Chrift; who shall change cur vile body that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby Þe is able even to subduc all things to himself.
m Chriftus ad dextram dei in cælis collocatus eti. am ab angelis adorandus est. Catachesis Ecclefiarum Polonicarum, fect. 4. Omnem in cælo et in terra poteftatem accepit; et omnia, Deo solo excepto, ejus pedibus sunt subjecta. Ibid.
effect and reward of his having passed through human life to save the world.
The inconsistency of the Socinian doctrine will, in this instance, appear more palpable, if we will consider what the merit was for which a mere man was thus exalted ; and what the end was for which a step so extraordinary was taken, and an effort fo violent made. His merit was, sacrificing his life in bearing witness to the truth; a merit by no means peculiar
to him, many other men having done the same. The end
The end was, the conveyance of blessings which would have been granted (because proper to be granted) whether conveyed by him or not. But on this fubject, a good deal more will be said hereafter.
Fifthly. The doctrine I am considering lefsens the usefulness and force of Christ's example.---He has, the Scriptures fay, left us an example that we mould follow his steps. It was an example of blameless and perfect virtue ; but he was, according to all opinions of him", qualified
n This observation is applicable to the opinions concerning Christ which have hitherto been generally held by Socinians, who, in reality, make him more properly a superior being than a man, and differ from Arians chiefly by assigning, contrary to all that is credible, a different date to his existence.- Lately, some of them have lowered him into a man ignorant and peccable, and no way distinguished from the common men of his time except by being inspired; and this, I am sensible, by bringing him down more