Views Of Truth Peculiar To Christianity -- By: Seth Sweetser

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 011:41 (Jan 1854)
Article: Views Of Truth Peculiar To Christianity
Author: Seth Sweetser


Views Of Truth Peculiar To Christianity

Seth Sweetser

The determination of the views of truth which are peculiar to Christianity, demands, almost necessarily, a previous consideration of the truths which are peculiar to revelation. For the inquiry, in its scope, is not limited to the doctrines or religious truths which distinguish the new dispensation from the old; but aims to determine what is distinctively Christian truth, as given in the New Testament, compared with religious truths, found anywhere else, within the range of human knowledge. Only a small portion of the world have enjoyed a written revelation. But without this limited circle, much knowledge of Divine things has been found in every age, and numerous correct ideas of duty have been entertained. To what extent this knowledge is traditionary from earlier unwritten revelation, and how far it may have incorporated into itself the ideas which had their origin in the Jewish or Christian Scriptures, cannot be easily determined. The strong presumption is, that the notions which prevailed among oriental nations of a Supreme Deity, and which, in connection with many superstitions and human inventions, were communicated to the Greeks and Romans, were derived from those, who, in the early history of the race, knew the true God as their Creator and Sovereign. The successive modifications which these notions underwent, give considerable force to the opinion, that a knowledge of the one true God preceded the gross forms of polytheism and the refined ideas of an elevated philosophy. From whatever source the primitive idea may have been derived, it is certain that men and nations, who have not had the written word of God, have arrived at many just and impressive conceptions of the Deity, and established many rules of duty in harmony with those of the Holy Scriptures. In order to determine what truths, or what views of truth, are peculiar to the Bible, it is necessary to compare the ideas taught in the Bible with those which are found elsewhere. In making this comparison let us consider,

1. The notions held concerning God. In the Old Testament, God is distinctly announced as the one living and true God. To him is ascribed the creation of the world. He is the sole governor of the universe, the disposer of all events in providence, the one lawgiver. The various natural and moral attributes of the Deity are clearly exhibited, presenting him as omnipotent, omniscient, infinite in holiness, goodness and truth. He is a just God, a merciful God; kind and compassionate, regarding with paternal affection all the intelligent subjects of his kingdom. The unity of God is made especially prominent, and contrasted strongly and variously with the idolatrous notions prevalent among men. It is a pure system of...

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