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this ignorance God winked at ; but now coinmandeth all men every where to repent ; because “he hath appointed a day, in which HE will judge “ the world in righteousness by that MAN, whom “He hath ordained; whereof HE hath given as“surance unto all men, in that HE hath raised him “ from the dead.” Here the godhead is spoken of as we would speak of one intelligent being, the personal pronouns he and him, of the singular number, are appropriated to him; and Christ is spoken of as a MAN, whom he raised from the dead, and who hath a commission to judge the world. The doctrine is pure Unitarianism. Yet this plain doctrine, these simple facts, had a great effect: for, though some mocked, certain believed and clave unto the preacher; or were converted by a strain of preaching in your opinion, Sir, totally inadequate to the effect really produced by it. But, in the review of this event, I am ready to say, after the Apostle, “ the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and “ the weakness of God is stronger than men.” 1 Cor. i. 25. In the progress of his ministry, after this, Paul is found at Corinth. He taught at this place, that “Jesus was the Christ.” Ch. xviii. 5. This was the subject, the sole subject of the preaching of Apollos at Ephesus, “who was mighty in the scriptures.” The effect

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wrought in each case was remarkable: in the former, while the Jews opposed themselves and blasphemed, “Crispus

“Crispus with all his house believed on the Lord, and “many of the Corinthians, hearing, believed :” in the latter the preacher “mightily convinced the Jews.” We read nothing of sentiments, corresponding to the Calvinistic and trinitarian schemes, having been taught in either place. If you suppose, Sir, that these sentiments were inculcated and blended with the great truth, the Messiahship of Jesus, it is supposition only, which is not supported by the testimony of the historian, nor by the practice of the apostolical preachers on any other occasion. You may build on suppositions; but I must be allowed to adhere to what is written, and to conclude that the historian has not kept back and suppressed any thing necessary to afford us a complete idea of the substance of the discourses of the apostles, or of what was essential to the wonderful effect they produced. The following chapter relates a singular circumstance. Paul finds certain disciples at Ephesus, some who were members of the newly erected kingdom of God; but, as he discovered on enquiry, they were so in an imperfect and defective manner; “they “had been baptized into John's baptism only, and had “not so much as heard that there was any holy spi“rit:” i.e. “any gifts of it given to men and received “by them".” What is the instruction afforded in - - - - this * They could not mean, that they had never heard of the holy

ghost; for John had taught his followers, that Jesus was to baptise - with

this case ? Merely similar to those advanced on former occasions. They are informed, that they should believe on him, which was to come after John, viz. on Jesus Christ: or on Jesus, the Christ. But still how far this minister of Christ fell short of that standard of faith, by which you conceive conversion is to be effected, even when he designedly applies himself to make up what was lacking in the faith of some And this maimed, defective representation of the gospel, as it would probably be called, if coming from the lips of modern Unitarians, is owned by Heaven: for Paul laying his hands upon these disciples, “the holy “ghost came upon them: they spake with tongues “ and prophesied.” [The next, i. e. the 20th chapter presents us with the fine speech of the apostle to the elders at Ephesus. In this there is a clause, which glances at the character of Christ and the operations of his ministry and death in a language, that hath not occurred in the former quotations, i.e. v. 28. Where the apostle exhorts the elders to “feed the church of GoD, which “He hath purchased with his own blood.” But whatever be the true and accurate reading in this place, for it is different in different manuscripts and versions; and whatever be the force and meaning of the word,

with the holy ghost. Matt. iii. 11. and Luke iii. 16. And by the holy ghost is meant the gifts of it. Ch. viii. 15, 17. 18. 19. Bp. Pearce in loc. The Cambridge Ms. reads, ti Tyapa ay.oy x44%ayoval. Tws: i. e., “that any had received the holy spirit.”

purchase. purchase, in this incidental sentence, as it does not occur in a discourse addressed, either to Jews or Gentiles with a design to bring them over to the faith of Jesus, nor was followed with any instance of a conversion to it; I should be justified in still omitting it, as not falling in with my plan, which is to review those discourses only, that were delivered with the design of converting men to the christian faith, and were actually effectual to that purpose. It conveys undoubtedly, a sentiment true in itself, and strictly conformable to those views, which the apostle gave of the christian doctrine, when he “preached Jesus, “proving that He was the Christ”.” In the discourse

- that

[* “They” i. e. the apostles, “declared that by the shedding of

“his blood his church was purchased.”. “Why does he,” i. e. Dr Toulmin,” “make mention of the fine speech of the apostle Paul to “the elders of the church at Ephesus, and yet overlook that solemn “charge, “Feed the church of God which he hath purchased with his own blood.” Hs it because he thinks with Dr. Priestley, “that we ought “ to be exceedingly cautious, how we admit such an expression ?” “That seems to be the reason. But then we ought to be as cautious “how we admit the book which contains it.” Fuller’s “Socinianism Hndefensible. ”page 45, 47. Yes; I do think with Dr. Priestley, and theught so before I knew it to be a sentiment expressed by him, that we ought to be exceedingly cautious, how we admit such an expression, as the blood of God. It is a phrase which occurs no where 'else in the scriptures. In the strict and literal sense it can not be true of the Being who is a Spirit. The mind, which conceives worthily of the eternal Jehovah, revolts from it. However some may be reconciled to it, Chrysostom and Athanasius, those great patrons of orthodoxy, in the fourth century, as well as Origen, reprobated the language

that now offers to examination, there is a declaration, which] increases my surprise at this wonderful silence, * . that

guage as shocking. If the common reading be admitted, it must be understood as meaning, according to the gloss of Erasmus, Du Veil and other learned men, the blood which God gave for the salvation of the world; the blood of his Son, Christ Jesus. “For God so loved “the world that he gave his only begotten Son to die for us.” But can Mr Fuller be ignorant, that whether the books of the Acts. originally contained such an expression, is a doubtful matter P Du veil observes, on the authority of Beza, that five copies which fell under the examination of that reformer, had it “the church of the “Lord and of God :'' and that many other Greek copies have only, of the Lord. The most ancient Syriac version reads, the Church of Christ., How can this passage, then, be quoted as militating with the representations I have given of the tenor of the Apostles' preaching: or as teaching the doctrine of the deity of Christ? A passage the common reading of which is by no means proved to be authentic; or which, if it were so, admits an easy, rational interpretation, without being supposed to convey the ascription of gross, material blood to the eternal spirit P But, in this sentence, Mr. Fuller finds the doc" trine of the atonement. He appears to have been misled by the sound and import of the English word, purchase, which carries in it the idea of paying a price, or an equivalent. But the word, in the original, Trigoroisie, and the substantive derived from it, mean only to acquire and obtain, or acquisition and obtaining. It is rendered by this last term by our translators, 1 Thess. v. 9. “For God hath not appoint“ed us to wrath, butto obtain, tis regroovy, salvation by our Lord. “Jesus Christ.” 2 Thess. ii. 14. Whereunto he called you by our “gospel, to the obtaining, as registing w, of the glory of our Lord “Jesus Christ,” 1 Tim. iii. 14, “They that use the office of a dea“con well purchase,” according to Dr. Doddridge, procure, Tigorolovylai, “to themselves a good degree.”. He then, that friend, and saviour, “who gave himself to redeem us, from all iniquity, and to purify “unto himself, a peculiar people, 2ealous of good works,” mayo

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