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EXTRACT OF A LETTER FROM J. L. TO HIS INQUISITIVE FRIEND.

The Unitarians will not believe that one is three and three are one, when the terms are applied to God; but who can deny the truth of the saying, when applied to man?

That man has a rational soul, capable of reasoning logically upon moral subjects (which none of the brutes can do,) is pretty generally believed. That he has a spirit which animates his matter, (which can be extinguished,) no one disputes. And that he has an organical body is self-evident. Soul, spirit, and body: these three make one man, and one man possesses all three.

Some, however, deny the triple nature of man, and say he is only duplicate – matter and spirit. In this light, two are one and one is two. Why will then the Socinians deny that two can be united in one, in Christ Jesus. If he is not God essential, and man real, what or who is he? Does it require a faith more marvellous, to believe that he was Jehovah-Jesus than it does to believe that he was born of a virgin, without an earthly father?

I take it then for granted, that I am a trinity; possessing soul, spirit and body. But what my soul is – of what form, size, and complexion, I know not. My spirit is equally invisible and undescribable. My body, it is true, is tangible; but so curiously wrought – so wonderfully made, that I should be worse than a madman, to deny that the author of my existence was infinitely wise and powerful.

And dost thou sent thine eyes upon such a one, and inquire after my health! * * *

What a wonderful phenomena is sleep. Our senses all locked up – unconscious of our own existence, in a death-like posture we remain. Anon, our senses all resume their former functions with fresh vigor, and past events and pursuits flow into our minds.

Is the death of the body and the resurrection from the dead, attended with wonders more unaccountable than this? Yet Hymeneas and Philetus, and many besides, experience the last every night and morning, and boldly deny the possibility of the first.

I cannot please myself better, nor entertain you with anything more interesting, than to quote some observations on this subject, made by the ingenious Dr. Rush, in conversation. Said he, “Sir, I can prove that the dead never will and never can be raised. Philosophy and the laws of nature forbid it – and yet they will be. So, likewise, I can prove that creation never could have taken place: all that we know of the laws of nature and the reason of things, declare it impossible – and yet it did take place. I mention these things, sir, to show the incompentency of the wisdom of man, to comprehend the works of him who is infinite.” * * *

When I read in a Constitution, that all power is originally in the people; and that it is, by them, vested in the several magistrates, whether legislative, executive, or judicial; and that all these magistrates, are at all times accountable to the people; and then turn my thoughts to the organization of the judicial department, and see how the judges are made without the voice of the people – at no time accountable to the people – that the power which made them, cannot without aid dismiss them; and that their responsibility is so remote from the people, that a riddance of them is almost impossible, my judgment says there is a contradiction between the declaration and organization: and a judiciary despotism is likely to be our ruin.

So, likewise, when I read in a catechism, that baptism is not to be administered to any who are out of the visible church, till they profess their faith in Christ – connected with the exception – but the infants of those that believe are to be baptized; my judgment determines, that the exception radically defeats the principle.

When a missionary solicitor exerts all his powers to frighten, flatter and deceive the people, and works so effectually upon the passions of a Christian congregation, as to sell them an Indian god, for money to support missionaries, (which has been the case,) my judgment tells me that the congregation thus gulled, have exchanged Gods with the Hindoos, and given their money to boot.

The Writings of the Late Elder John Leland
Pages 496 – 497