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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Evangelical Colonial Pastor, Samuel West

West wrote:

Let us the great Redeemer; to whom every knee should ascribing blessing and honor and glory and power, to him who sitteth on the throne and to the lamb forever and ever.

--A Sermon Delivered Upon the Late National Thanksgiving, February 19, 1795.

The word "Redeemer" is an evangelical word meaning "bought" as buying back as a ransom found in Mark 10:45, "a ransom for many." Not only does the verse reject universal atonement, but the verse rejects the heterodox notion of the atonement Mayhew and Chauncy believed in.

West was not unitarian, rather he was an orthodox Christian, who believed in the atonement:

Reading his Ordination West was an Orthodox Christian: our high priest who offered himself up to God a sacrifice of atonement for the sins of the world.. he is to be preached up as the only Mediator between God and man..that he came to redeem us both from the penal consequences of Adam's first increase our knowledge of the doctrines of, the gospel..that through his atoning blood and perfect righteousness..Can anyone imagine faithfully that he preaches Christ, who very seldom in his discourses mentions his name; and who never insists on the doctrine of atonement, with which the new testament so much abounds? Shall gospel ministers leave out the principle end of Christ's coming..?

 Due to his proper belief in the atonement, West believed in Christ's divinity:

"We might here, with very little reserve, adopt our language which our divine Saviour applies to John the Baptist."

--A Sermon on the Death of Washington.

Because of his view of the atonement, West's view of Christ's divinity was not distorted as of the unitarians.


Tom Van Dyke said...

"Redeemer" was used freely by unitarians.

"Socrates could not then be his redeemer, in the specific and extended sense in which the Unitarians regard Christ as their redeemer"

An Appeal to Scripture and Tradition, in Defence of the Unitarian Faith
Sir Charles Abraham Elton - 1818

see also John Adams

and William Ellery Channing, where Christ is still a mediator
"We both agreed in our late conference, that a majority of our brethren believe, that Jesus Christ is more than man, that he existed before the world, that he literally came from heaven to save our race, that he sustains other offices than those of a teacher and witness to the truth, and that he still acts for our benefit, and is our intercessor
with the Father. This we agreed to be the prevalent sentiment of our brethren."

Our Founding Truth said...

Only in an unbiblical sense after the 18th century, when unitarians and many others added a meaning to the word not used in Mk 10:45.

Our Founding Truth said...

The word "ransom" found in Mark 10:45. For 1800 years true Christians used "redeemer" as blood sacrifice satisfaction, just how West uses it in his ordination.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Regardless, the historical question is that unitarians used "Redeemer." You cannot use the word to argue that makes someone an orthodox Christian. Non-starter.

Our Founding Truth said...

Using that word doesn't make someone a Christian. However, someone needs to prove unitarians used the word before the 19th century in its historical context according to the etymology of the word and they can't.

Unitarians weren't bold enough to use that word meaning a legal transaction of atonement because they didn't believe in that. It's an etymological issue.

Our Founding Truth said...

Unitarians and others hijacked the meaning of the word and applied it to something else. All because they couldn't accept its historical meaning. Absurd!

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, not saying you're wrong but you're basing your argument for Samuel West's orthodoxy simply on his use of "Redeemer." Inconclusive. Surely you have something more probative.

West had a positive view of human nature, and asserted that humans were possessed of free will. He expressed these Arminian and other liberal theological views frequently and eloquently. He disliked the Calvinist notion that good Christians ought to be willing to be damned and go to Hell. Although not a full Unitarian, he doubted the Athanasian view of the Trinity, believing that Jesus and God were not one and inseparable. He insisted that the Bible was the only necessary creed. Much of his objection to the writings of Jonathan Edwards—and most other theologians—was that their arguments were too complex and obscure.

West feared not to enter into dispute with Jonathan Edwards, Jr., a vigorous exponent of his father's Calvinist theology. In a 1793 pamphlet, Essays on Liberty and Necessity, he argued the character of God from Scripture, reason, and human moral accountability. Two years later the pamphlet was reprinted with four additional essays. These so provoked Edwards, Jr. that in 1797 he responded with A Dissertation concerning Liberty and Necessity: containing remarks on the essays of Dr. Samuel West. While acknowledging that West was his most able adversary, Edwards complained that West relied too much on history and not enough on argument. When West attempted a rebuttal, he discovered that the public had lost interest in the dispute. He could not find a publisher.

Our Founding Truth said...

The information is from a Unitarian website with no sources for their assertions. I quoted his own words from his ordination, a thanksgiving fast and at Washington's death where West called Jesus "our divine Saviour."

Jonathan Rowe said...

OFT: We've already proven you wrong in 2011.

Our Founding Truth said...

Jon says he has "proof."

Does that mean hearsay 85 years after West died, is actual proof? Would that be considered proof in a court of law?

Tom doesn't think so either.

"I also agree there's no smoking gun re West's unitarianism; I would not, however, take the words of his granddaughter in 1833 as gospel truth: people lie."

Tom Van Dyke said...

West called Jesus "our divine Saviour."

So did Ben Franklin.

Our Founding Truth said...

"Redeemer" is a different ballgame. Read 1 Peter 1:18-19 and you'll know what I mean. It describes His blood as not corruptible like silver and gold. Like it's not human blood. Boggles the human mind.