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¦ t j - ' , ' " n 3 S $ - Ii ^ e the BpteiiW ^ Mph ^ MoBKS . tp , a jaiftong u $ v TJEie _ pa . ssag ^ . wjucjj . Mr . WeliheloveE bas ^ o ^ eu ^ a bis tex t is 1 1 [ Sin . -JU ,-JT (> * " And * without € qqtrover ^ gre ^ t is the mystery of
godliness ; God was manifest in the flesh , justified in the spirit , seen of angels , preached unto the Gentiles , believed on in the world , received up into £ lory / ' His object is to prove that , although usually adduced with much confidence by the advocates of the popular faith in support of at least one essential article of their creed ,
these words neither countenance the commonly-received opinions concerning the divinity of our blessed Lord's nature , nor oppose that system which is founded on the principle avowed
by the author ot the Epistle to the Hebrews , ' that " both he that sanctifieth , and they who are sanctified , are all of one ; and that in all things it behoved Jesus to be made like unto
his brethren . ** The Sermon necessarily embraces a variety of important topics , and is characterized throughout by an evident desire to ascertain not what is rational or what is orthodox , but what is scriptural ; by eminent skill in sacred criticism ; and by an entire freedom from that virulent , dogmatizing spirit which is so common in the Christian world and which has kindled the fires of persecution ,
and brought theological controversy into unmerited disrepute . It bears on every page the impress of a pious and cultivated inind , ardent in the pursuit of divine truth and accustoaied to slake its thirst at the
fountain head . While we cordially recommend it to all who aspire after an acquaintance with the word of God , we cannot but be of opinion that even those who may not agree with the sentiments of the writer or
hold his reasonings to be conclusive , will acknowledge , if they possess any candour and ingenuousness , that his views are remarkably clear and distinct , and that his arguments , uniformly urged with kindness of thought atid fteling towards those who differ fro it ) him , have a powerful claim upon their taost serious attention .
After observing that the first clause of the text would be more accurately rendered , •/ Without controversy the mystery of godliness is a great thing- /'
i . e ., aaimpoytant matter , ,, and * ser&ift cS ^ S #% i 6 | «^ i ^ i . B # ^ tehtfeiti ^ . fis ^ iir % ^ mMtxm ^ attH that : thS ^ erm ti ^ rpat elp ^ £ & liness / ' is used by Hie $ & tie * fSt the ^^ Ilisp ^ atibtl , ^/ Ivgffi )^ . loved enters at ^ co nsiderable i < eti | th into an examination of the scriptdral meaning" of the word " inysteJy ?* From an induction of passives , to which we apprehend a careful reader of the Sacred Volume will-find'it ' 'difficult to affix any other interpretation , he arrives at the conclusion that a
" mystery" in the writings of the New Testament signifies , not what is inconceivable , itiexpKcabte , or incapable of being fully known , but a secret , a hidden thing , a thing undiscovered and unrevealed .
" Every article of the Christian doctrine , which could not be known before the promulgation of the gospel , and particularly that part of it which reflated to the admission of the Gentiles to the same , and even greater pr ! nl %£ s than those which the Jews had hitherto
exclusively enjoyed , without being required to submit to the yoke of the Mosaic ordinances , is , in the writings of the New Testament , called a mystery ; and [ the whole of ] the Christian doctrines , collectively taken , are denoted by the same term . '—P . 10 .
The preacher proceeds to shew , m Dr . Lardner indeed has maintained in a valuable sermon upon the same subject , to which Mr . WeUbeloved refers , that granting the clause , " God was manifested in the flesh / ' to frave
come dovra to us precisely as it was written by the apostle , it may be-rationally and scripturally explained «without admitting th ^ t such a doctrine as the incarnation of one of the persons in a triune gpcjlxeacj * js
copveyed by it , sinqq it necessarily implies nothing jon ^ re th ^ a tli ^ t the power of God w ^ s in ^ ome ren ^ arka " ble maaner displayed in one of tlie human race . .
" If Paul has indeed said that c God was manifest in the flesh / he designed , by this expression , to assert nothing more than that God tvas w ? th Jesus , continually aiding him by hia wisdom hurt
and his power , communicating to those important truths which ware to be delivered by him to mankind , a ^ enabling him to perform those iiii ^ y works , which were a satisfactory erideuce of his divine mission . "— -P . !?•
; 68 > Rem ^^ rem ^ m ^ ,- % ^?» 9 &H M&mM fJMimp *
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Nov. 2, 1826, page 684, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2554/page/48/