Thursday, June 26, 2014

Ezra Stiles: Watts was an Arian on the Divinity of Christ

That's what Ezra Stiles asserted about Isaac Watts here. Quote:
When Dr Watts set out in Life he was clearly a Calvinist ...When the Arian Controversy got hold of the Dissenters in the public cause of the Rev. Mr. Pierce of Exeter about 1720: Dr Watts entered the Arian Researches, became plunged as to the real Divinity of J. C, as appears in the follow[ing] Publications of the last 20 years of his Life. But tho' he was an Arian on the Divinity of Christ, yet he never relinquished any of the other evangelical Doctrines, the real vicarious Satisfaction even plenary Atonem[ent], with Justific[ation] by Christs Righteousness &c.—One may perceive the same Thing in Seeds Sermons. The Ruin & Reco[very] retains the Deriv[ation] of Guilt & Corruption from Adam—& this is the Augustinian Notion of Original Sin. Dr Langdon's Plunges have a pretty extensive influence into his whole Theology.


Bill Fortenberry said...

Dr. Stiles was simply mistaken about Dr. Watts' beliefs. Here is an excerpt from one of the very sources which Dr. Stiles cited:

Since the Son of God, Jesus Christ, was so very glorious a Person in his own Nature, one who was with God, and was God, one who had all the Fulness of the Godhead dwelling in him bodily, there was such an abounding Merit in his perfect Obedience to the Law of God for four and thirty Years together, his voluntary Submission to so many Sorrows and Sufferings in his Life and afterwards his enduring Death it self, which was the express Penalty threatned for Sin; I say, there was such a superabundant Value and Merit in these Undertakings, arising from the Dignity of his Person and Character, that these Labours, and these Sufferings, did not only procure absolute and certain Salvation for the Elect, according to the Will and Appointment of the Father, but they may justly be called sufficient in their own Nature, to have obtain'd actual Salvation for all Mankind.

Tom Van Dyke said...

Well, that's gotta be close enough to Christianity for rock'n'roll. There might be some esoteric non-Trinitarianism snuck in there somewhere for the discriminating theologue, but he's even got the Calvinist doctrine of the "Elect" in there.