On this page
- Text (2)
Note: This text has been automatically extracted via Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software. The text has not been manually corrected and should not be relied on to be an accurate representation of the item.
Additionally, when viewing full transcripts, extracted text may not be in the same order as the original document.
PART I . CONCLUDED . The process of the deification of Christ was aided by another and a most powerful principle of the human breast . The offence of the cross was among the earliest impediments of the
Gospel . The Jews accounted him accursed that was hanged on a tree . The Gentiles despised the whole nation of Israelites , and held in supreme contempt a teacher of that nation , who had , by the confession of his followers , suffered capital punishment in its most degrading shape . How could he be the Messiah , the one argued , whose unacceptance with God was declared by the
sufferings which he underwent ? Is it likely , thought the other , that I should relinquish the teachings of Plato and Pythagoras , of Aristotle and Cicero , to take up with the delusions of a crucified Jew ? These difficulties , we know , were felt . Constantly were they thrown in the way of the Christian missionaries . "What is there surprising in the fact that they should meet them by
declaring , that the outward meanness was compensated by an inward glory ? Their pride would prompt them to rank their master as highly as they could ; and their benevolence , too , would be concerned to remove as far as possible every stumblingblock . At first , they would be content to appeal to the mighty deeds and eminent wisdom of the crucified Teacher . When it
was replied that still he was but a crucified Jew , how natural the rejoinder , that he was the Son of God , understanding that phrase rather in a heathenish than a Gospel sense , and straining it to signify a mysterious relationship of nature between the Creator and the Redeemer . Thus the offence of the cross would be
removed , the objector silenced , and pride and benevolence alike gratified . How objectionable to many of the early converts was the fact of Christ ' s crucifixion , may be easily gathered from the visionary notions of the Gnostics respecting his person . Rather than believe that the Messiah had suffered the death of a
malefactor , they maintained that he had been crucified only in appearance—that a mere phantom of Jesus had been tortured unto death . The indisposition to receive a palpable fact which drove the Gnostics to this most groundless and absurd imagination , might , it is easy to see , lead others to ascribe that dignity to his nature which belonged exclusively to his character . Of the two
resources the latter was the more plausible . That pre-eminent greatness did belong to Jesus , no one could for a moment doubt . Whether it sprung from the Deity within his breast , or the Deity in the universe , was a metaphysical question , which might be determined either way without leading to absurdity , and which those whose pride was concerned in the solution of it mi g ht , with no great difficulty , answer in agreement with their inclina-
THE RISE AND PROGRESS OF THE DOCTRINE OF THE TRINITY .
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Feb. 2, 1832, page 109, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct1806/page/37/