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I am not a . little apprehensive that many things which now make a fair show among us , and in which we paightiiy pride ourselves , will in the end prove weeds only on which the owner of the ground sets no value . " If , then . Jesus , was at first accounted not God but a man
approved of God , how has it happened that he had assigned to him the prerogatives of deity . The distance between God and man is so great , that he who was really man could never , some may imagine , have been transmuted into God . Strange , indeed , we grant it is , that the creature should have been placed on an equality with the Creator . The surprise of the reader will t however , decrease , if not vanish , after be has attended to the foL * lowing considerations .
We must not judge of the change of which we have spoken by a reference to our own feelings , but to the state of the public mind at the time of the promulgation of Christianity . Was it not strange that the children of Israel , immediately after the reception of the law against idolatry—a law sanctioned by the most stupendous miracles—should require Aaron to make them a brazen calf for an object of their worship ? Was it not stranger
still that Aaron , the brother of Moses , who had seen all the wonders done in Egypt and in the desert , should yield to their request ? But in the doctrine of t ran substantiation we have something more surprising than in any other corruption on the page of history . It ceases to be a , wonder that a man should be made God , since a piece of bread is held by myriads to have undergone a similar conversion through the lapse of near two
thousand yeara , and in thousands of places at the same mpment * The deification of the intelligent spirit of one of that race who in the Scripture are invited to become partakers of the divine nature , and declared to be created in the image of God , is surely a less marvel than the deification in times and places innumerable of what possesses not even animal life , and is taken into the human frame and converted into a part of its nutriment and substance .
But the Gentiles , by whose influence the corruptions respecting the person of Jesus were introduced into the Church , held notions . of the Deity low and mean as compared with those which we of these times entertain . They had Gods many , and Lords many——Gods of like passions with themselves . In many instances their deities were inferior to those who are now accounted but ordinary
men . The power of these Gods was restricted , their jurisdiction local , their character lustful , cruel , and gross . How childish must have been the notion which they entertained of God who contended * as did some of the philosophical theists of the pagan world , that the sun and stars , yes , and this earth too ,, were severally Gods I The distance which actually exists between the Creator and the creature the heathen reduced till it almost dis *
Rise and Progress of the Doctrine of the Trinity . " \ 9
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Jan. 2, 1832, page 19, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1804/page/19/