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finished workmen, whose life is devoted supremely to the work; not apprentices, but full grown men; not babies, but “able ministers of the new institution.” And this will never be, so long as one is for his farm, and another for his merchandize; some hewers of wood and drawers of water, and all, more or less, secularized in life and spirit.
It behooves those who are thus entangled with the business of the world, and who cannot consecrate their whole time to the work of the Lord, to use all dilligence, to husband their resources, to improve every moment, to wash out every grain of gold from the placers, and to write holiness to the Lord upon the “bells of their horses," and that the most insignificant vessels of the Lord shall be as bowls before the altar. Some we have known, of this class, who, by their industry in the daily study of the scriptures, and by their unblemished life in the practice of righteousness, have gained to themselves a good degree, and have done, and are still doing, great service to the cause of truth. But, to them, it is a cause of unspeakable regret, that the cares of a family, the limited means or penu: riousness of the church, have not furnished them with leisure to improve their minds, and thus better prepare them for the work assigned them. Many are fondly hoping, when success in business will enable them to devote their whole time to the cause. Vain delusion! When will they have enough! And in getting it, are they not spending their working days, and encrusting their souls with shells so thick and cumbrous, that, like the oyster, they will be compelled to fasten themselves to the rock, having lost all power of locomotion? There are some who will read this piece, who have enough, and more than enough, for all the purposes of life. Besides, it is but cultivating the spirit of avarice in the churches, to labor without reward. The best preachers are those who go without "scrip or purse," and who are maintained by the churches. The benevolence that cost us nothing, is of a doubtful stamp. I can give, says one, and not feel it ; you had better give until you feel it. So the Saviour gave, and so the apostles, and so the truly beneficent have always given.
There needs now an advanced corps, to meet the exigencies of the present age, and that corps will yet be seen. One here, and another there, are coming to fill up the ranks, and the beckoning spirit of progress hails their advent. And what if they shall take a higher stand than we have made ; and what if they eclipse those of us who have struggled into the light, and at every step have felt the benumbing influence of the superincumbent darkness? We gladly
bequeath them the “armor of light," and the garnered treasures of a quarter of a century, as their capital to work on, with the remembrancer, " That to him that hath, more shall be given, and he shall have abundance; but from him that hath not, (improved) shall be taken away even that which he hath.” CINCINNATI, O.
SOCIETY IN GOD.
Brother Campbell : In reading, recently, a little work on Person and Work of Christ, by Ernest Sartorius, D. D., General Superintendent and Consistorial Director at Konigsburg, Prussia, translated by Rev. Oakman S. Stearns, A. M.,” I was much struck, not only with meeting in it some rather original views, which, in your
writings, you have expressed, but nearly in your identical language. For example, that there is society in God, Dr. Sartorius, in the second chapter of his book, commits himself thus :
“ And first of all, what is meant by the Son of God? God the Father and God the Son-is not this simply a human relation, which is merely transferred to God in thought, without any actual resemblance to it, in the character of God ? Many have so decided respecting this and other similar points, but it is a groundless conclusion, since it pretends that the Holy Scriptures describe the divine relations in accordance with human imagery, forgetful of the fact that the human relations are portrayed according to divine ideas. God has created man in his own image. The inverse proposition is not true. The creation is a copy, a fac-simile of God, and the inverse of this is not true. The simple fact that there exists among men the parental and filial relation, is no proof at all that there is the relation of Father and Son in God; much less that this absolute, eternal, and necessary relation exists in God by degrees, and then develops itself externally, in similar relations to his creatures, on account of whose finiteness that is divided and separated, which, in the original nature, was eternally united. If the divinity were merely shut up in himself, as an exclusive I, soli. tary, egotistical, without any internal community of love, which should eternally bind together the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, his creatures also would have existed, each one by himself, a dismem. bered, egotistical individual, without any connection with a higher unity, by which he is bound to his race; and without the hope that his existence will be repeated and continued in his own. God alone is the love, as the scriptures say-the almighty, ever-producing love; and he is so, not simply in relation to that which is external to him, or from the world, but is so in his immanent nature, from eternity; and as he is in himself, so he reveals himself. It is, therefore, im. possible that he should be a mere I, without a Thou-a mere subject, without an object-the entire fulness of the Godhead, surrounded by himself, and deriving his gratification from himself alone. He would then become a dead selfishness, not a living love, whose most peculiar characteristic is a community of benevolence, and the communication of happiness; so that he is, in reality, a perfect communicator-yes, perfection itself. If God is entire and perfect love, he must impart the same, entirely and perfectly. But this cannot be in the creatures they are too small, too inferior, and too weak, to receive the perfect fulness of God into themselves; they can comprehend the emitted sparks, but not the fire itself. The fire would destroy them. Consequently, they know not how to be satisfied with the eternal, never-ending love, because they are too far beneath him. God alone can satisfy God. The eteral Son alone can satisfy the eternal Father. Therefore, there must have existed from eternity, with God the Father, through his omnipotence and love, God the Son; who is, however, no other God than the Father. Especially is he so, by virtue of the divinity itself, of which he is a partaker, and which the Father has eternally appointed to him. There is, there can be but one, united, unending divine nature. A united, indivisible divinity, belongs to the Father and to the Son, and, through both these, to the Holy Spirit, as the third person, wherein the Trinity is completed as one and immutable. It cannot be divided or diminished, increased or multiplied, but is ever and pre-eminently one in number, degree, and kind. The difference is only this, that there is attributed to the Father an absolute self-existence by himself alone; to the Son the same, by an eternal communication to the Father; and to the Holy Spirit the same, by an eternal como munication with the Father and the Son; as when a light before it is doubled or trebled, shines in the first place by itself, and in the second place reflects contemporaneously with it out of a mirror; and thirdly, with the reflection shines, also, again upon another mirror, and yet is only one light. There is afforded to us, also, the simplest explanation, under the figure of a triangle, since these three angles, in various ways, make up one and the same space.
“Without going any further into a speculation concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, it is sufficient to prove our doctrine from the Holy Scriptures. They are decisive and emphatical in teaching the unity of God, and yet never describe it as an abstract, simple, inert unity; on the contrary, they represent him as the living, ever-active God, who has next to himself the eternal word, the eternal idea, the eternally essential type of himself, in the Son creator; and that by him, and through him, all things, seen and unseen, were created. • The heavens were made by the word of the Lord, and all their hosts by the word of his mouth.''In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.' • All things were made by him, and without him, nothing was made which was made.'
I except, in the above, “ eternal Father," " eternal Son,” and “ Trinity ;” and yet, if I understand the Doctor and yourself, there is no difference between you here. He is no advocate, more than you, for the dogmas of the “eternal generation" of the Son of God, and the "eternal proceeding” of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, as taught by old divines; but for the co-eternity and co-equality of all three. The “eternal Son," with him and with you alike, is the “eternal word—the eternal idea, the eternally essential type of himself, or the Son creator.” Is it not so? Yours truly,
F. W. EMMONS. NEAR SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass., October 20, 1850.
I THINK, with Bro. Emmons, that there is a remarkable similarity in the views and reasonings of this Prussian Doctor, on this awfully sublime subject, to those to which I gave expression in the Chris tian Baptist, some twenty-five years ago. His terminology differs from mine; but the rudimental conceptions are the same. At the hazard of my orthodoxy with that class of writers and teachers that bound themselves down, and their fraternities, to the jargon of words without ideas such as “eternal generation,” “ eternal pro. cession," "co-equality," and "consubstantiality," &c.- I presumed to affix ideas to the terms of inspiration, corresponding with their proper import, and then to trace the analogy which these terms institute in man, according to the laws of language and of the human mind. There is, however, too much abstraction in the triangular idea above expressed; nor is that figure peculiar to Dr. Sartorius, It is an antiquated conception of a very old school of rather mystic reasoning on the term Trinity, which nothing on earth resembled bnt & triangle
The beautiful conception of the word, and its corresponding idea, and of the embodiment of the same idea in flesh--a new term, & form, distinct from its pre-existent attitude and relations, or a trans. lation of it from the language of heaven into the language of earthis what the emergency of man's apostacy required, and God's phi. lanthropy vouchsafed. And therefore, the word became incarnate and dwelt amongst men, and we beheld his glory in this form of speech, and, in the form of a servant, condescending to raise our ruined race into a new form of glory, after the image of him that created and redeemed us, and for whose glory we are and were created; who condescended to become like us in humanity, that we might be like him in partaking of a divine nature, even of immor. tality and eternal life. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!
THE SPIRITS IN PRISON.
By which, also, he went and preached unto the spirits in prison.--Pet., iii. 19.
“In which," says Peter, speaking of Paul's epistles, "are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.” What thuse things were, here alluded to, as we are not informed by Peter, though we might conjecture, there is no certainty of our conjecturing right: for some things, hard to be understood by the untaught and unstable primitive disciples and men of the world, in the apostles' times, may be easy to us; and other things, easy to them, hard to us_hard, not only to the unlearned and fickle minded, but to the learned-to many who are considered, and have been considered, as pillars of our churches. This is owing to our different circumstances-to the agitation of some questions among the ancients and the commonly diffused answer to them, and to other allusions to things known and understood, which among us, and to us, are lost. In order for us, therefore, to understand the scriptures-all the scriptures, and especially the epistles, we must inform ourselves, so far as practicable, of those questions, and an. swers, and things. Little, we suppose, did Peter, when making the remark above quoted of Paul's writings, suppose, that the same might be made of his. And, perhaps, at that time, it might not truly have been said of them. The passage placed at the head of
SERIES IV.-VOL. I. 12