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“ witness, that through his name whosoever be“ lieveth in him shall receive remission of sins.” The same doctrine, I perceive, as before. No intimation about a trinity, a satisfaction to the divine justice, the godhead of Christ, and other opinions, which form the Calvinistic creed : and yet, besides the conversion of all who heard this to the faith of Christ, there was a remarkable and miraculous sanction given to it from Heaven, for while Peter was speaking the holy spirit fell on all them who heard the word. Was not this a divine attestation to the truth and sufficiency of his doctrine; a proof that he delivered the whole counsel of God, so far as it was necessary to the salvation of his audience? But I meet here with none of those doctrines, which you, Sir, conceive, are a necessary foundation for faith and repentance. I meet with none but such which, as an Unitarian, I embrace and rejoice in
with devout gladness. The eleventh and twelfth chapters furnish nothing to the point before us, except that they who were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen, travelling to a distance, it is said, “ preached the word; and some of them spake unto “ the Grecians, preaching the Lord Jesus.” These are general expressions, and the only clue to their meaning and importance, is the discourses which we have reviewed; and which afford nothing to justify such such a construction of them, as your creed might dispose you to put on them. A new character next appears in the kingdom of Christ, espousing his cause with peculiar ardor, and acting under a singular commission ; even he, to whom “it was given to preach among the Gentiles, “ the unsearchable riches of Christ;” I mean the apostle PAUL.
LETTER III. o
FOLLOWING the narrative of the historian, I accompany the apostle Paul, preaching in the synagogue of Antioch, addressing first the Jews and then the Gentiles; calling the former to give audience, he glances at the leading events in their history, and then advances this principle; that “ GoD, according to ** HIS promise, had raised unto Israel, a Saviour “Jesus; that, though they had found no cause of “ death in him, yet they desired Pilate, that he “should be slain ; that GoD raised him from the “dead, and in this had fulfilled the promises HE had “made unto the fathers; that through this MAN was “preached the forgiveness of sins; and by him all “ that believed were justified from all things, from “which they could not be justified by the law of “ Moses.” This doctrine he called the word “ of “ salvation.” The Gentiles besought that these words might be preached unto them the next Sabbath-day. On hearing this doctrine, many of the Jews, and religious proselytes followed Paul and Barnabas, and “ the Gentiles were glad and glorified “ the word of the Lord.” But where, I ask here also, are those principles which Mr. Fuller apprehends are essential to conversion? if the apostle preached them, them, where is the sincerity of the historian, in not recording those parts of his discourse If the apostle did not insist on them, why should it be expected that I or any other Unitarian should urge them, in order to turn a sinner from the error of his way May we not hope, that we shall be the happy and honoured instruments of building up the church of God? may we not hope that our preaching will not be deficient in point of doctrine, of that doctrine
which is the means of turning others to righteous
ness, if we adher- simply to the plan on which the apostle of the Gentiles preached; HE who was sent
to be salvation unto the ends of the earth To
effect the great ends of his ministry the topics on which he dwelt were such as are now called Unitarian doctrines: and by these topics the great ends.
of his ministry were effected. In the synagogue of Thessalonica the apostle pursues the same strain; opening and alleging, “that “Christ must needs have suffered and have risen. “again, and that this Jesus whom I preach unto “you, is Christ.” Here the idea given of the person of Christ is that of a man, suffering according to. the counsels and purpose of God, and raised again, to attest his character as the Christ. On this simple Unitarian principle “ some believed and consorted. “ with Paul and Silas, and of the devout Greeks a “great multitude, and of the chief women not a - “ few.”
* few.” This doctrine, it appears, did affect and
interest their minds.