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yet show the credentials of Prophets, and make their vocation to consist in rebuking the moral degeneracy, as well as denouncing the religious stupidity, of their country and their age. And therefore, I did feel surprised and shocked at certain gross misrepresentations of which they have been guilty, and of which, with the view of satisfying my readers as to the title that the Millenarians have to judge of other men, and to become the reprovers of evil deeds, I shall trouble them with the exhibition of two examples.
I have said in Note C. p. 545, “ The metaphysics of our antagonists are as bad as their theology. But what can be expected of those who are bold to maintain, that when Christ prayed in the garden, if it be possible let this cup pass from me,' he was in his human nature, in his sinful flesh, rebelling against God ?”
In referring to this, the Millenarians represent me as deriding the “metaphysics and theology of those who are bold to maintain, that when Christ prayed in the garden, if it be possible let this cup pass from me, it was the expression of the will of Christ's human nature; whence” they say, only inference that can be drawn is, that Dr. Thomson supposes his nature had no will at all.”
Thus they represent me as holding a most absurd, not to say impious heresy, by substituting, in place of my statement, which they pretend to quote, a sentence of their own! They leave out these words, “ in his sinful flesh, rebelling against God.” And I hesitate not to say that they omit them intentionally and deliberately. Could I have imputed the omission to mere accident or oversight, gladly would I have done so. But the circumstances of the case forbid me to put upon it such a favourable construction.
Again, in the same Note p. 542, I ask, “is there no holiness, no virtue in God himself, beCause he cannot be tempted of sin ?" The Millenarians, to answer their own design, and with the most extraordinary hardihood of assertion, give as their version of the passage, that in it “ virtue is ascribed to God as the consequence of resisting temptation.” My statement is, totidem verbis, that “God cannot be tempted of sin," and my argument rests upon that as its foundation, as far as reference is made to God; and yet they affirm my statement to be, that “God can be tempted of sin.” And this is sent over the whole country, as a fair view of my doctrinal opinions on the subject of God's moral perfection! I most
sincerely wish that I could attribute this to mere inadvertency and mistake, but that is impossible. The quarter from which it comes, the manner in which it is handled, and the purpose it is made to serve, are more than enough to convince me that the misrepresentation is wilful.
They have had both time and opportunity for correcting the errors now mentioned, and others of a similar kind that might have been noticed ; but they have allowed them to remain uncancelled, and have only employed themselves in venting still more splenetic humours, and bringing still more railing accusations, against the object of their attack.
I do pity the men who have recourse to such means of defending their dogmas, and of wreaking their resentment against those by whom these dogmas are gravely impugned. And I marvel how, at the very time they are committing such trespasses on the sacredness of the ninth commandment, they can be so forward and dictatorial in reprobating the conduct of those, who are committing no other crime than that of refusing to acquiesce in their interpretations of prophecy, and of believing that Christ's human nature was not “ sinful,"_“ fallen”-and “ all evil, even as this fallen world is all evil.”
I have only to add, that to what I have said in my notes on that subject, and on the subjects of the Millennium, of Assurance of Faith, and of Slavery, I firmly adhere, as equally taught by reason and by Scripture; and that my convictions become the clearer and the stronger, the more I reflect on the merits and bearings of the various questions which they involve, and of the various arguments which may be advanced for their determination.