Bones to Pick.
Why, even of Yourselves, judge ye not What is right, Jesus,
Why hearken ye so believingly to Priests, Parsons, and Preachers, as if they had the words of eternal life? so unwisely accepting for Truth, whatever they may happen to tell you? "Are ye yet without understanding"? Why do ye not read and think and judge for Yourselves? Has your Maker given you faculties you dare not employ? which you will not exercise? And do you suppose that He can be gratified, that He will be. satisfied, with such apathetic, such unreasoning intelligences? Think ye that your talents are not to be exerted? that your capacities are to remain dormant? Be not children all the days of your lives, listening to nursery tales, adopting fossilized creeds, and repeating stereotyped confessions of faith, which were concocted by comparatively uninformed men, in comparatively benighted times; but, be ye men and women of understanding: "Search the Scriptures," and examine them for Yourselves; never pinning your faith on anyone's sleeve; for, "Every one of us shall give an account of himself to God," who will render "to every man according to his work"; and "whatsover a man soweth, that shall he also reap"!
Mr. Brown—What place is that?
Mr. Robinson—O, that's the Lyceum.; where, it is currently reported among the religious world, the Bible is trodden underfoot, and the most shocking blasphemies unscrupulously uttered.
Brows—That the Lyceum ! I must go there; for, I heard in Ballarat, that they don't mince matters there, but speak out plainly and fearlessly—let's all go together !
Mr. Johnson—Go to the Lyceum ! I wouldn't go in for. eversomuch; I should be afraid the roof would fall in, were I to sit "in the assembly of mockers"; and there, they mock God to his face.
Mr. Evans—Are you sure of that? I have been inside repeatedly, and heard the very reverse of what you, Mr Johnson, so unhesitatingly assert. Gad is revered in the Lyceum, although the Trinity is repudiated; and they—
Johnson—There you have it! they deny "the holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity," casting the Bible behind their backs ! they "fear not God, nor regard man"; they are, in fact Unitarians, of whom no less a prelate than Dr. South most truely says—They are impious blasphemers, whose infamous pedigree runs back, from wretch to wretch, in a direct line, to the Devil himself; and who are fitter to be crushed by the civil magistrate, as destructive to government and society, than to be confuted as merely heretics in religion" !
Brown—-Unlike Mr Johnson, I respect the apostolic injunction—"Condemn no man Unheard"—therefore, I shall take the liberty of first hearing, and then, of judging for myself.
Evans—And I guaranty, that you will not hear anything derogatory to God, in the Lyceum; where He is acknowledged as the Greater and Preserver, the Redeemer and Savior, of all his intelligent creatures; the One only living wise and true God—renouncing the orthodox "Gad the Son," and "Gad the Holy Ghost", and the more recently made "God Man", as three Idols; not one of which man-made Gods, is to be found in either the Hebrew or the Christian scriptures !
Brown—What say you? no "God the Son", nor "God the Holy Ghost", nor "God Man", in the Bible !
Evans—Not One of them ! they are three Gods of man's making; in imitation of the Oriental nations, familiar to the readers of histories and scriptures which were penned ages prior to the time of Moses, who strained his energies to induce the idolatrous Israelites to worship the One god only; exclaiming—
Hear, 0 Israel, Jehovah oar God, is one. Jehovah. Mr. Williams—I was taught from infancy to believe, that "Toe Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God; and in this Trinity none is afore, or after other; none is greater, or less than another; but, the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal: so that in all things, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshiped—which, except a man believe faithfully, He cannot be saved"!
Such was my religious training; and although when a lad I could not reconcile the page break the Unity in Trinity and the Trinity in Unity with my multiplication table, I wag silenced by the parental assurance, that notwithstanding three is one and one is three might be bad arithmetic, it was nevertheless good divinity; and that if I would not believe it, "Without Doubt, I should perish everlastingly" ! The threats of never ending torments in a lake of fire and brimstone in the bottomless pit, silenced, but did not convince me; yet, not untill I was capable of rational inquiry, did I venture to look upon the Trinity as a theological enigma—which he that solved the Sphinx's would die guessing. In riper years I discovered, that the Trinity was unknown to the early Christians, who were strict Unitarians; that the Pagan doctrine was first introduced among the Churches about the year 150; and I also discovered that it was as unscriptural as it is irrational and inexplicable—in short, that the doctrine of the Trinity was as inconceivable in idea, as it is impossible in fact I
Johnson—Then, let me tell you, Sir, you are an Infidel!
Williams—That I am, in the strictest sense of the word—though not in the' opprobrious meaning You attach to it; I am infidel to the tenets of my religious education; that is, I am not faithful to the doctrines with which my infant mind was imbued :
"When I was a Child, I spake as a child, I thought as a child, I reasoned as child; but, when I became a Man, I put away childish things"—and I have for ever put away the Unbiblical and God-dishonoring heathenish belief in more Gods than One—renouncing idolatry altogether.
Mr. Simpson—I too, though a Wesleyan bred and born, and for many years a firm believer in the Trinity, have recently come to believe in
"One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all" and I ascribe my former and long-standing belief in the Trinity, much more to the impressions made upon my uninquiring mind by the Hymns, than by the Sermons, or even the misrepresentations of the Scriptures.
Mr. Roberts—Set, the Bible abounds with passages which teach the Oneness of God distinctly, and also clearly, and unmistakably, to all but the pre-possessed; for in the Hebrew scriptures we read many such texts as—
See now that I, even I am He, and there is No God with me.
O Jehovah, there is none like Thee; neither is there And God beside Thee.
"Before me, there was No God formed; neither shall three be After me".
And in the Christian scriptures we read such texts as—
There is One God; and there is none other but He.
There is None Other God But One.
Thou believest there is One God—thou doest well. So that, if persons read the Bible observantly, and with unbiased minds, they cannot help believing in the Oneness of God. In accordance with these and a vast variety of other texts, we in the Lyceum believe in One God—not in Two, Three, Four, nor liny other number of Gods, by whatsoever names they may be called; whether "God the Son", or "God the Holy Ghost", or "God Man"; as all such Gods are sheer Idols—not One of them to be found in Holy Writ : and, of course, we repudiate the Pagan doctrine of the Trinity, which is not once to be met with from the first verse of Genesis to the last verse of the Revelation—being nothing else than a Heathen myth, a gangrenous excrescence on the fair face of genuine Christianity;
We also believe, in One only Savior, and do not desire any other; saying in Scripture language—
Jehovah is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; the God of my rock, in Him will I trust : He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, My Savior.
I, even I am Jehovah, and beside me there is No Savior.
I am the Lord thy God from the land of Egypt, and thou shalt have no God but me :for there is No Savior Beside Me.
Let those Pulpits that falsely accuse us of trampling the Bible under our feet, by our maintaining there is but One God and but One Savior, learn to read the Scriptures with attention; and first take the splinters out of their own eyes, before they attempt to take the motes out of ours; let them read and ponder such passages as—page break
My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced, in God My Savior.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by command of God our Savior, and of Jesus Christ our hope, to Timothy my true child in faith; grace, mercy, and peace from God our Father, and Christ Jesus our Lord!
Unto Him who is able to keep you from falling, and to place you in the sight of his glory, faultlesss, with joy, The Only God Our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. More I need not quote, to prove that God, and not Jesus, is our God and Savior.
Johnson—Now I've caught you ! now I know of a surety, that you, Sir, are not honest; or, you would have had the candor, the common honesty, to quote that most striking of all text* against your Unitarian doctrine—
Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, especially of them that believe!
Roberts—I am perfectly astounded ! not so much at your consummate impudence in charging me with dishonesty, as at your reproachable ignorance in not knowing that your pretended quotation is not in the Bible, but, is one of your deceitful and deceiving gross misrepresentations of Scripture; and—
Johnson—Come, come, Sir, no shuffling ! why did you not quote, in the hearing of these gentlemen, the unanswerable text,
Jesus Christ is the Savior of all men, especially of them that believe? Roberts—Simply because I could not quote for Scriptnre, what does not stand in the Bible; there is no such God-dishonoring text to be found ! it is one of the "pious frauds" which designing Pulpit teachers palm upon their uninquiring hearers, who are ready to believe anything the Minister may please to say.
Johnson—What next, and next? why it is among the most celebrated, and most frequently quoted texts of the great Apostle to the Gentiles; and I have quoted it over and over again to my congregations.
Roberts—That may be; but, that is no proof of its genuineness. I am aware that you tell your congregations a multitude of things which the Bible plainly contradicts.
Brown—Have I heard you aright, Mr Roberts? Is the passage twice given by Mr Johnson, not in the Bible? I have heard it scores of times from Pulpits of different denominations, and I always accepted it for Scripture.
Roberts—You should have followed the example of the Bereans, who did not take for granted all that Paul and Silas ware pleased to tell them; but, as we read, they "Searched the scriptures daily," that they might know for themselves, whether what was told them, was true, or not : and If you but adopt a like course, you may soon discover what a pretty mess Pulpits make of many texts; and, among others that in Timothy,
We trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe!
which "living God," ministers like Mr. Johnston turn into "Jesus Christ"; and not only falsify the text itself, but set it in direct opposition to all the texts that declare Jehovah to be the Savior of mankind, and that beside him there is "no other Savior" !
Mr. Thomas—Well, you may say what you please, Mr Roberts, but, let me tell you, I never was in the Lyceum but once, and I will never go again; so thoroughly was I offended at that hoary-headed Sinner, who told his audience, that Christ was not our Redeemer ! I felt ready to choke; so I rushed out of the Hall, uttering as I descended the steps, that beautiful prayer,
"O God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy upon us miserable Sinners" ! and I cannot conceive how so many sensible persons frequent a Hall where they hear such blasphemous things; for, the New testament everywhere speaks of Christ as the Redeemer of the world; and and a man like you, Mr. Roberts, ought to be ashamed to mix yourself up with those who teach such false doctrines—men who ought to be hooted out of the place !
Roberts—I am not surprised, Mr Thomas, at your being offended; because, I have long known that Truth is one of the most offensive things that can be spoken in a mixed assembly; people don't like to be told that they are in Error; and should a Truth attack a favorite doctrine, and expose its fallacy, persons of irritable tempers page break can't endure it; they run away from it, as you did, without listening to the reasons which the Speaker might adduce; and—
Thomas—I couldn't listen any longer to such blasphemy, and so——
Brown—But, you surely may listen now; we have listened to you, and wa wish to hear Mr Roberts's answer; so keep yourself quiet for a bit, that's a good fellow.
Roberts—You call that a "beautiful prayer"; but what beauty can there be in a prayer which is destitute of Truth? You say the New testament everywhere speaks of Christ as the Redeemer of the world; which is a false assertion; for, instead of "everywhere", it does not anywhere speak of "Christ as the Redeemer"; for the word Redeemer is not in the New testament at all, though of frequent occurrence in the Old; as,
All flash shall know that I, Jehovah, am thy Savior; that thy Redeemer is the Mighty One of Jacob.
—Jehovah, not Jesus, is our only Savior and only Redeemer—that is, if wa take the Bible, not the Prayerbook, for our guide—if we accept god's truth in preference to Man's untruth.
Robinson—What you say, Sir, seams plausible enough, but, it goes against the grain to think I have been befooled all my life by Pulpit misrepresentations of the Scriptures, which I have long been in the daily habit of reading; but which, according to your showing, do not admit of my believing in more than One God, One Savior, One Redeemer, whose name is One—my mind is unhinged, and I find it no easy matter to give up long-cherished notion.
Evans—The task of Unlearning, is the most difficult of all tasks. It would not be difficult to initiate you into right conceptions of the Scriptures, had you not already imbibed wrong notions; it is easier to ingraft truth on ignorance than on error; for you have first to unlearn errors, before you can embrace truths : yet, your present errors can never grow into truths, though you should continue to cherish them to the end of your days; nor is a mistake in judgement any less a mistake, because you have nurtured it, nor is it the less mischievous, because many persons believe it. You say that you have long been a daily reader of the Scriptures; yet, like tens of thousands of other readers, there are two things especially which you do not know—You do not know what is in the Bible, nor do you know what is not in the Bible : you have read with a mind prepossessed, and you still read through the spectacles of other men; for, were your eyes open and your understanding unbiased, you could not overlook, nor misconceive, nor treat with indifference, such plainly expressed texts as—
The Lord Almighty is God alone, and beside Him there is no other Savior!
Thomas—And do you mean to say, that Jesus is not my Redeemer, my Savior, and my God—if you rob me of my faith, of my hope in Jesus, whither shall I go?
Roberts—Go ! whither should you go? Go, where Jesus recommeads you to go; go to his Father and your Father, to his God and your God; for, "Jehovah is a God full of compassion, and gracious, long suffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth—Hope in Jehovah from henceforth, and for ever !"
Jackson—But, how am I to set aside the multitudinous passages in the Bible which speak of Christ as being God—"God mida manifest in the Fresh"—as Jesus being" Very God of very God"—if Jesus called himself God, how dire you say that Jesus was not God, in the face of so many texts to the contrary?
Roberts—Tuere is not a single text that says any sash thing ! there is not—
Thomas—Why, do you think me a fool, a very—
Brvwn—Be quiet Thomas, and first hear what Mr. Roberts has got to say, before you fly out in such an unseemly way; if you will talk, you must learn to listen.
Roberts—Jesus never called himself God; nor was he ever accused of doing so, but once; and then, he instantly repudiated toe accusation, as false, telling his accusers, "I said, I am the Son of God" !
Johnson—Jesus told his disciples that irrefutable truth, "I and my father are Cne'—a declaration which all your sophistry cannot overthrow, nor invalidate !
Evans—Do not interrupt Mr Roberts; he can answer but one at a time; and if you can be patient awhile, I am persuaded his so-called sophistry will upset your so called irrefutable truth, the meaning of which you do not apprehend
Roberts—It is not only lamentable, but reproachful to all such Pulpit teachers page break as represent Jesus as God, who is never once called God in the Bible.
Johnson—Then, what do you make of such texts as "God was manifest in the Flesh"? and "I and my Father are One" 1 Come now, no shirking?
Roberts—If you will allow me, I shall answer you, Mr Johnson, in turn, without attempting to shirk the texts you have so confidently quoted; but I would first inform Mr Jackson, that Jesus (who was not called Christ in his lifetime) usually spoke of himself as the Son of Man—never once as God. If in reading the Scriptures, Mr Jackson, you will be at the pains of noting down, and afterwards casting up your account, you may find that Jesus is called the son of Man upwards of 80 times—40 times Man—19 times a Prophet—56 times the Sent of God—and 120 times the Son of God; but, not once, not even by accident, mistake, or fraud, is Jesus ever called God.
Robinson—Then, all our Creeds, Catechisms, and Confessions of Faith, are un-scriptural! only chips in porridge! and I have been the Dupe of credulity from my infancy upwards! actually worshiping Jesus as God!
Roberts—As a God, Jesus Is but a God of man's making; nothing more : Jesus having told his auditors, In plain terms—
The true worshipers shall worship the Father, in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship Him—God Is a spirit; and they that worship Him, must worship him In spirit and in truth"! And even when represented to have been In his most exalted state, when John fell down to worship him, Jesus said to him, peremptorily,
See thou do it not! for I am thy fellow servant, and of thy brethren the Prophets—Worship God"!
Besides, while on the one hand there are not any texts in favor of making Jesus into a God—if we except a few abominable interpolations, a few grossly false translations, and a few texts which Trinitarians either ignorantly or wickedly misrepresent—there are, Mr. Jackson, no fewer than 320 texts In which the Father Is absolutely, and by way of eminence, called The God (Ho theos) but, not one text wherein the Son is so called—there are 450 texts in which the Father is designated The God with peculiarly high titles and epithets; but the Son is never so designated—17 times is the Father styled one or only God in the Christian scriptures alone, without the Son's being once so styled—there are 19 texts teaching that all prayer and praise shall be offered to the Father, that everything must be directed to His honor and glory; but of the Son no such injunction is ever made—of the 1300 texts wherein the term god ocours, there is not one which necessarily implies the existence of more than One person in the Godhead, or, that such One is any other than the Father and, more than this, the texts wherein the Son is declared, either positively or by the clearest implication, to be subordinate to the Father, deriving his being from the Father, receiving his power from the Father, acting under the will of the Father, exceed 300—how then, in the name of religion, how can you, Mr Jackson, how can any man or woman professing to believe in the Bible, believe that Jesus of Nazareth is our Redeemer, our Savior, and our God? and how dare you, Mr Johnson, with hundreds upon hundreds of such texts staring you full in the face—nay, how can you be so lost to all sense of propriety, all respect for truth, as to tell your congregations that Jesus, "the Son of Man," of Woman born, was, or is, the Omnipresent Omniscient Omnipotence? or as You impiously express it, "Very God of Very God", unblushingly reiterating that blasphemous refrain, first obtruded into the Church Service in the year 529,
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost! utterly regardless of such emphatically expressed texts as—
I am Jehovah, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another!
Dixon—'Pon my word, Parson Johnson, I begin to think that you will have cause to regret your encounter with these despised Unitarian gentlemen, who seem to be much better read in the Scriptures than You, or any of the Pulpit gentry who have been so liberal of illiberal remarks respecting them; and I should not be surprised at seeing you, Sir, made one of the most conspicuous Puppits they may some day exhibit on the Lyceum. Platform, which you, Mr Johnson, in the exuberance of your contempt, unwisely characterize as a "Punch and Judy Show!"page break
Brown—Can you, Ms Johnson, or any of your fellow Pulpit ministers who denounce Unitarianism, give us a like string of texts in support of Trinitarianism, as the lists we have just heard from Mr Roberts?
Evans—That is Impossible! nor can all the Trinitarian ministers put together produce as many tens as Mr Roberts has given us hundreds of texts.
Roberts—I would not be so hard on Mr Johnson as to ask for as many tens as we have hundreds; I would not ask for more than a dozen altogether—in truth, I should be satisfied with half-a-dozen—or even a couple only—nay, I challenge Mr Johnson to produce a single one, as a set off against the thousands we can produce in favor of Unitarianism! for God is One, even as Truth is One! nor is it possible in the nature of things, that there should or can be more than One First Cause.
Smith—Butter me, if I don't go to "that wicked Lyceum", as my wife calls it; I'll go as sure as eggs are eggs!
Thomas—I've half a mind to go myself.
Phillips—I'll go, Smith, if you'll go; although, as you have often said, "It's not so respectable as going to Church".
Johnson—A member of my congregation, on whose integrity and accuracy I can rely, has furnished me with his Notes of several assertions made on the free and easy Platform of the Lyceum, one of which reads as follows—
Nearly all the Sects in Christendom proclaim Jesus to be God, notwithstanding they can be convicted of Error out of their own particular Creeds, Confessions of Faith, Catechisms, or, other Church documents" :
such were the very words uttered from the Lyceum Platform; and I now challenge you, Mr Roberts, to convict me of error, in believing Jesus to be God, from any document belonging to the Church of England : now, Sir!
Roberts—Well, now Sir! I accept your challenge; and shall prove to your confusion, before these gentlemen, that You know not the purport of the most Important documents of your own Church; documents which testify beyond rational contradiction, that Jesus is not God,
Dixon—Would it not be more regular, were Mr Johnson first to give us his texts on the Trinitarian side, before entering on a fresh question? Mr Johnson was authoritative in tone, when forbidding what he called shirking, in replies to him; and he ought not to be allowed to shirk his reply to Mr Roberts's challenge.
Evans—Don't press the matter, Mr Dixon; rather give Mr Johnson a week, a month, or a year, to hunt for texts in answer to Mr Roberts. Let us waive the right of fair-play, and hear Mr Roberts in answer to Mr Johnson's challenge.
Roberts—Though the Book of Common Prayer affords me a rich variety of arguements to prove Mr Johnson in error, while maintaining that Jesus is God, I shall select my proof from the most important of all the Church documents, namely, "The 39 Articles of Religion"; the First article commencing in the following words—
There is but One living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker, and Preserver, of all things, both visible and invisible.
I shall now examine these words; and if I do not convince the gentlemen present, that, according to this first article, Jesus is not God, then, I shall ask Mr Johnson's pardon for my having presumed to take up bis challenge.
"There is but One living and true God"—not Two, nor Three, nor Four, nor any other number of Gods; but One God only, as we read in Isaiah, "Before me there was no God, neither shall there be After me"! and, of course, all who worship any other than the "One living and true God", are Idolaters.
"There is but One living and true God, everlasting"—and as Jesus was not everlasting, having been born of a Woman about 1874 years ago, lived for about 33 years, then died, and was buried, Jesus cannot have been the "One living and true God, everlasting"—neither does the Bible countenance any such absurd notion.
"There is but One living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions"—yet, as Jesus had a body, parts, and passions, having been born of a woman having as a babe sucked milk; as a youth "grew in stature"; became a man among men; eating when he was hungry, drinking when he was thirsty, toiling at the car- page break penter's bench, sleeping for the refreshment of his wearied limbs, enduring bodily fatigues as well as mental sufferings, and having been "in all points tempted like as we are", Jesus could not have been "the One living and true God", who neither sleepeth nor slumbereth; whom "no eye hath seen, nor can see"—neither does the Bible countenance any such absurd notion.
"There is but One living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness"—but as Jesus was not possessed of "infinite power", He having declared "Of myself I can do nothing", and acknowledged that he could not do many mighty works in the neighborhood of Nazareth, "because of their unbelief"; his power was finite only, not infinite—neither was Jesus of "infinite Wisdom", as He, when speaking of the End of the world, told his hearers, "Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son. but, the Father"; besides, Jesus "increased in wisdom and stature"; consequently, his wisdom was finite, not infinite—nor was Jesus infinite goodness"; for, when "One came and said unto him, Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou Me good? there is none good but One, that is God"—hence, as Jesus had not infinite power, nor infinite wisdom, nor Infinite goodness, He cannot rationally be considered as having been the "One living and true God"—neither does the Bible countenance any such absurd notion.
"There is One living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible"—and as "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth," myriads of ages before Jesus was born. He could not have had anything to do with the creation of all things visible and invisible—neither does the Bible countenance any such absurd notion. In the Bible we read, "I am Jehovah that worketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself": Jehovah had not any Assistant; for, as the Prophet expresses it, "Thou, even thou art Jehovah alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host; the earth and all things that are therein; the seas, and all that is therein; and thou preserveth them all; and the host of heaven worshipeth Thee"! Hence, as Jehovah alone was the Maker and Preserver of all things in heaven, earth, and seas, Jesus was not the "One living and true God" set forth in the very First of the 39 "Articles of Religion", recorded in the Book of Common Prayer!
Evans—Well, Mr Johnson, are You man enough to confess that you have been in Error? and that you are wiser today than you were yesterday? Are you now prepared to exlaim with Moses, "Jehovah our God is One Jehovah''? to declare with Solomon, "the Lord Almighty is God Alone"? to tell your congregation, as Paul told the Corinthians, "There is none other God but One?
Phillips—Leave him, leave him alone! for, "He is joined to his Idols"—his "God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, God Man"; all of whom are repudiated by those who worship the Father in spirit and in truth—nor are any of these three Man-Made Gods to be found in the Bible!
Johnson—I shall not stay here to be insulted! [Exit, in a buff.
Dixon—I would not have missed this conversation for a trifle, it has proved an Eye-opener to me; and I shall certainly go to the Lyceum and open my Ears to what they have got to say there. I have hitherto been prevented by reports—Blockhead that I was, never once to have thought of the reports about Jesus being a deceiver, a blasphemer, and a madman; I'll hear and judge for myself; and if I find that our Liturgy is not in accordance with Holy Writ, I shall stick to the Bible, and throw the Prayerbook to the dogs!
Robinson—Mr Roberts, however, has not removed that massive barrier to the overthrew of the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, ''I and my Father are One"
Roberts—Had Mr Johnson remained a little longer, I should have reminded him that Jesus also said, "My Father is greater than I"; and have shown him that he does not apprehend the meaning of "I and my Father are One", though clearly elucidated by England's matchless triumvirate, Milton, Locke, and Newton; all of whom became Unitarians after they had been at the pains of examining Trinitarianism page break for themselves.
Mr. Williams—That saying of Jesus, "My Father is greater than I", has often; been a puzzler to me; for, if the one is greater than the other, the one mart be lets than the other; and the greater and the less cannot possibly be One and the Sims; they must be Two; and if both be Gods, then, there is a greater and a lesser God; and my own reason says, that the Two cannot be One—notwithstanding the Athanasian Creed assures ma, "without doubt, I shall perish everlastingly", and that I "cannot be saved, except I believe it faithfully": still, I cannot believe it, commonsense tells' me It is nonsense; and, as that Prelate Dr. South, has pertinently observed,
What is nonsense on a principle of reason, will never be sense upon a principle of religion".
Robinson—But, bow can such plainly expressed words admit of misapprehension? Surely, "I and my Father are One", must mean just what they say.
Evans—"Man and Wife are One", is proverbial in our language; and what is more, Jesus avers "They are no longer Two"; yet, if you take Mrs. Robinson into an Omnibus, or Into a Railway carriage, your insisting that Jesus and the Law of the Land have declared that You and your Wife, are One, you'll be laughed at, for a Simpleton, and be compelled to pay for Two.
Mr. Nicholson—Besides, the Father and the Son would make only a duality, not a trinity There is but one text which alludes to the origin of the Holy Ghost, and that text tells us that it "proceadeth from the Father"; while the Athanasian creed tells us, "the Holy Ghost is of the Bather and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding"—which is, to me, as clear as mud!
Mr. Smith—I am surprized to hear such a remark from you, Mr Nicholson; for,. I have heard you state from the pulpit, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, were inseparably One, "not divisable in person, nor absent from each other in space."
Nicholson—I fear that I have said many things which cannot stand the test of investigation. I have not yet shaken off all the prejudices of my religious education. Jesus, howev r, when addressing his disciples, said,
I tell you the Truth—it is expedient for you that I go away; for, if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but, if I depart, I will tend him unto you
Without controversy, great is the mystery of godliness God was manifested in the Flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory."
Robbrts—The word translated godliness, simply means piety; and piety there means the discharge of a duty to God, and has reference to Jesus only; for the insertion of the word God, is an abominable falsification of the original passage; which word (god) you cannot find in your Greek testament—it is a Trinitarian "pious fraud" on the unlearned English readar. Clever biblical scholars of every age, have repudiated the untenable doctrine of the Trinity. Jerome, "who excelled all his co-temporaries in erudition", tells his readers, that "Those who confess the Trinity, must bid farewell to Science"; and while Lather calls the Trinity, a mere human invention", Calvin writes, "The word trinity is barbarous, insipid, profane; a human institution grounded on no testimony of God's word; the popish god, unknown to the Prophets and the Apostles".page break
|Him Three in One and One in Three||Adoring One in Persons Three,|
|Extol to all eternity. Hymn 232.||And Three in Nature One. 256|
|Veil'd in Flesh the Godhead see,||And we the life of God shall know,|
|Hail the incarnate Deity! 602||For God is manifest below, 609.|
|The Invisible appears in sight,||The Invisible appears on earth|
|And God is seen by mortal eye. 95.||The Son of Man, the God of heaven, 605|
And yet, I had read in my Bible, "God is One"; that "No man hath seen God at any time"; ''whom no man hath seen nor can see"! besides, Three being One, and Spirit being Flesh, and! Seeing the Invisible, are all alike pure unadulterated nonsense preached and sung by persons void of thought.
- There is One living and true God; everlasting; without body, parts, or passions; of Infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things visible and invisible ".
In the Zend Avesta of the Persians you may read,
The heavens are a point, from the pen of God's perfection; the world is a bud, from the bower of His beauty; the sun is a spark, from the light of His wisdom; the sky is a bubble, on the sea of His power".
In the sacred writings of the Sikh Gooroos you may read,
Thou art in each thing, and in all places, O God! Thou art the One self-existent Being. My mind dwells upon One, Him who gave the soul and the body. Numerous Mahomets have there been, and multitudes of Brahmas, Vishnus, and Sivas; thousands of Seers and Prophets, and tens of thousands of Saints and Holymen; but, the Chief of Lords is the One lord.
In the works of Confucius you may read,
When thou art in the secret places of thy house, do not say None sees me; for there is One intelligent spirit who seeth all : the Supreme pierces into the recesses of the heart, as light penetrates into a dark room; and we must endeavor to be in harmony with His light, like a musical instrument perfectly attuned".
In the Koran you may read,
God hath commanded that Ye worship no One beside Him".
Thornton—The Hebrews, as a matter of course, still adhere to the Laws of Moses; and it is one of the blackest spots on the page of modern history, that the Jews have been so outrageously persecuted by Christians for not believing in Jesus of Nazareth—who was not the Messiah they expected—who did not fulfil the prophecies respecting him who, after all the volumes that have been written and published on what theologians call the Fulfillment of the Prophecies, was not the predicted person that answered their expectations—and the Hebrews still expect their foretold Messiah, whom Christians fancy appeared upwards of 1800 years ago.
Williams—At any rate, no one can accuse the regular Frequenters of the Lyceum with illiberality towards their fellow man; for they acknowledge all persons, male and female, as the children of one universal Parent, in whom all races live and move and have their being; and, although not insensible to the diversity of opinions prevalent among contending Sects, they concentrate their Confession of Faith into seven words only—Love to God and love to Man!
Evan's—In the Lyceum, all sorts of religious subjects are unceremoniously canvassed; and as the end and aim of Truthseekers is the discovery of Truth and its dissemination, whoever will be at the pains of pointing out any errors in conception, or any false inferences, will be looked upon as Co-workers, and will receive the unfeigned thanks of the community. If, for instance, anyone can show a misconception of any text adduced in proof of the Oneness of God, or, a wrong inference drawn from any text, such exposition would be duely appreciated. The so-called Authorities of Councils and Synods, of Convocations and Presbyteries and Conferences, are not accepted at the Lyceum for truth, but Truth, made the sole authority there; Edicts and Creeds and Catechisms, belonging to any and all Seats, are subjected to rigid investigations, and even the Bible itself undergoes critical examinations—for Man is greater than the Bible, even as Truth is greater than the Bible, though it was formerly looked upon by most theologians as an infallible Authority.
Roberts—Many Pulpits still speak of the Bible as being "the Infallible Word of God"; and so long as such an irrational doctrine as the infallibility of the Scriptures is taught to theological Students in Colleges and Universities, so long will the mischievous error be propagated among congregations. In Dr. Baylee's ''Verbal Inspiration", a Manual, which, according to the Preface, is "part of an intended Course of Lectures on Scripture. Philosophy, and Exegesis, chiefly for the use of the Students of St. Aidan's College", you may read—
The Bible cannot be less than Verbally inspired. Every word, every syllable, every letter, is just what it would be had God spoken from heaven without any human intervention"! And we have more extravagant writers than Baylee among us; though men of enlightened minds have cast all such superstitious notions behind them; for, as Tait, our present Archbishop of Canterbury told his auditors—
Most sound Theologians have no dread whatsoever of acknowledging minute point? of disagreement in the fourfold narrative even of that most momentous of all histories which records the life of the Redeemer."
And that great gun, Bishop Butler, insists on our interpreting the Bible by the light of reason, and reason only, telling us—
Reason can and it ought to judge, not only of the meaning, but also of the morality and evidence of Revelation. It is the province of Reason to judge of the morality of the Scriptures".
Reason is the highest and noblest faculty of Man; and our Platforms are now telling our Pulpits, that he who will not reason, is a bigot; that he who cannot reason is a dunce; that he who dares not reason, is a slave; and that he who does not reason, is not a reasonable being!