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account for this? Must we not con- seeing, when the Lord answered, clude, either that the servants were that "his grace was sufficient for more humble and more jealous of him," he even gloried in his infirthe glory of God, than his beloved mities, that "the power of Christ Son; or that Christ was conscious, might rest upon him" (2 Cor. xii. "that all men ought to honour him, 7-10)? Did he not pray to Christ even as they honoured the Father?" when he said, "Now God himself, for it is manifest, that he readily ac- and our Father, and the Lord Jesus cepted of those honours which they Christ, direct our way unto you," most strenuously refused. &c.; and "Now our Lord Jesus VI. The undeniable instances of Christ himself, and God even our divine worship paid to Christ, con- Father, comfort your hearts, and stitute another most conclusive establish you in every good word argument. Worship (properly so and work?" (1 Thess. iii. 11-13; called) is an ascription of the pecu- 2 Thess. ii. 16-17.) Such inliar honours of the Deity to any stances show how familiar it was to being. To supplicate a creature, the apostle "to honour the Son, though visibly present, for those even as he honoured the Father:" blessings which God alone can be- and as tending to the glory of God stow, is idolatry; because omnipo- the Father" (Phil. ii. 11). The tence is ascribed to a creature: and apostolical blessing is an act of it is the same to pray to any being, worship coincident with that apwhen not sensibly present, even for pointed by Moses (Num. vi. 24— such deliverances as a creature 27; 2 Cor. xiii. 14), yet Christ and might afford, because it ascribes to the Holy Spirit are joined in it; and it omnipresence or omniscience; doubtless he was prayed to, whenwhich proves all the prayers of pa-ever grace and "peace" (the sum of pists to saints and angels to be ido- all spiritual blessings) were sought latry. The petitions before men-" from God our Father, and from tioned, for "increase of faith," &c. our Lord Jesus Christ." Indeed it were acts of worship paid to Christ, was the grand peculiarity of Chrisas was the address of Thomas," My tians, that they called on the name Lord and my God;" nor would any of the Lord Jesus" (Acts ix. 14, holy man or angel have received 21); and they who have attempted them. The form of baptism, "in to interpret such expressions in the name of the Father, the Son, some other sense, do as little credit and the Holy Ghost," must be an to their critical talents as to their appointed adoration of the Son and orthodoxy. Not to multiply inHoly Spirit; or we must admit the stances to which some possible obgreatest absurdities. No doubt jection might be made, the words Stephen worshiped Christ when of Peter (2 Pet. iii. 18) are incahe prayed to him to receive his pable of any other construction. spirit, and not to impute his death" Grow in grace, and in the knowto his murderers; otherwise he ledge of our Lord and Saviour Jemight deny Christ's own prayers to sus Christ; to Him be glory both the same effect when he hung on now and for ever. Amen." the cross, to be an adoration of the As all the angels of God were Father (Luke xxiii. 34, 46; Acts commanded to worship his incarnate vii. 59, 60). What candid person Son; so, when a door was opened can deny, that Paul addressed Christ in heaven, all the angelic hosts are concerning "the thorn in his flesh;" introduced as joining the company

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of redeemed sinners, in ascribing being the throne, on which a creaeternal honour and praise to "the ture was to reign to eternity? InLamb that was slain," in union with stead of God was manifested in "Him that sitteth on the Throne "the flesh;" some would read it, (Rev. v. vii.) No words can pos- "who was manifested in the flesh;" sibly be more emphatical, than those in which case God must be the anused on this occasion: can any man, tecedent, as the context shows, and therefore, after reading them, assert, the sense remains precisely the same that Christ is a mere created being? (1 Tim. iii. 15, 16). Others would Or that it is idolatry to worship read it, which (mystery) was mahim? Or will he pretend to believe nifested in the flesh;" and then that book to be " the unerring word which mystery must be the nomiof God;" or can he disprove its di-native case to all the subsequent vine inspiration: when its prophe- clauses in the verse; but whatever cies have been so remarkably ac- may be thought of the other propocomplished? This shows that our sitions "which mystery was reversion is faithful in another place ceived up into glory," will scarce be (Rev. i. 5, 6); and that every deemed the language of inspiration Christian ought to join the saints of by any, who do not prefer nonsense old, in saying, Unto him that to orthodoxy. But sometimes they loved us, and washed us from our seem disposed to retain our reading, sins in his own blood,-be glory and and to explain the expression to dominion for ever and ever. Amen." mean, "the wisdom and power of VII. Lastly, our doctrine is con- God being conspicuous in Christ;" firmed by the absurdities into which which would be also true of Peter, its most able opposers have been or Moses; and so this great mysdriven. Such men have principally tery of godliness at length is found laboured to invalidate those texts, to be no mystery at all! When inthat seem most explicit on this credulous Thomas was at last consubject; though we could prove our vinced of Christ's resurrection he doctrine, even if these evidences exclaimed, "My Lord, and my were set aside: and for this reason God!" And it cannot seem wonI have not adduced one testimony, derful to those, who consider that which is decisive if genuine (as I he knew the Messiah was to be suppose it to be); because its au- called Emmanuel, and had heard thenticity has been so much dis-him say, "he that hath seen me puted (1 John v. 7, 8). A short hath seen the Father," &c., that he specimen, however, may show with should be convinced of his Deity by what success they have laboured, his resurrection from the dead (John who deny the Deity of Christ. The xx. 26-31; Rom. i. 2, 3). To set psalmist, and from him the apostle, aside this testimony, it hath been says of the Messiah, "Thy Throne, said, that the apostle's words were O God, is for ever and ever, &c." the language of astonishment, and (Psal. xlv. 6, 7; Heb. i. 8, 9:) To not of adoration; as men often exelude the obvious inference from claim, my God, when greatly surthis text, it hath been said, that the prised. But are not such exclamawords may be rendered, "God is tions manifest violations of the third thy throne for ever and ever." We commandment, and certain proofs read that heaven is God's throne, of men's irreverent contempt of the and the earth is his footstool; but name of God? Who then can bewho ever thought of God himself lieve, that the apostles used such

profane language before Christ, |nal God; which could be no more without meeting with the least re- than an exemption from the very proof for it (Matt. v. 37)? Surely summit of all possible pride and such a solution must be improbable ambition? His argument (as well in the highest degree; and they, as the meaning of the words) proves, who can admit it, have no right to that "being in the form of God," despise other men's credulity! But signifies, being truly God, and apindeed, the words do not admit of pearing so; even as the form of a any such construction, consistent servant and the fashion of man sigwith the idiom of the original lan- nify being truly man: and how could guage. That most august passage, a mere creature "take upon him the with which John opens his Gospel, form of a servant," seeing he must has been so construed, in order to always have been a servant of his evade our inference from it, that the Maker? To render the words of nominative case to the verbs used Paul (Rom. ix. 5), “God over all, in it must be changed again and blessed for ever," would reduce his again, without the least intimation language to absurdity: for what given of it; contrary to all the rules could he then mean by saying, "of of grammar. At other times, the whom, as concerning the fiesh, Christ Word is supposed to mean nothing came?" Did ever historian describe more than the energy or power of the descent of a prince in such lanGod, which was eternally with him guage? and would it not be ridicuand essential to him, by which he lous in him to do so? Stephen's made the world, and which was ma- dying address to Christ has lately nifested in the man Jesus: but can been considered, "as the words of any man in his senses suppose, that a man, in an ecstasy of devotion, or this was all the meaning of the apos- in the agonies of death," and, theretle's introduction to his Gospel, of fore, not of much weight in the arthe sublime things he says of the gument: as if modern reasoners Word; and his becoming flesh and could better direct our faith and dwelling among us? If any one worship, than this proto-martyr, should think so for a moment, a when full of the Holy Ghost, fasecond attentive perusal must sure-voured with the visions of God, and ly convince him of his mistake. replete with the light of heaven! Aware of this, it is now deemed What shall we say to Paul's words convenient to set it aside, as no part (2 Cor. viii. 9)? could he, who was of revelation. The interpretation born in a stable, had not where to given of another decisive evidence lay his head, and died on a cross, (Phil. ii. 5—10) is grounded on a be rich before he was poor; if he proposed different translation, im- had not existed before he became plying "that Christ did not think man? The words of Christ, which of such a robbery, as that of being his disciples thought so plain (John equal wtth God." But not to men- xvi. 28), and many other declaration the various expressions used tions he made," that he came down by our Lord, which certainly were from heaven," &c., so pressed the thus understood by the Jews; who ancient Socinians, as to induce them can believe, that the apostle should to feign, that Jesus, like Mahomet, propose to his brethren, as a perfect went to heaven to receive his inexample of humility, the conduct of structions, previous to his entrance a mere man, or creature, who barely on his ministry. But modern Socinidid not claim equality with the eter- ans have given up this figment: they

seem conscious of their inability what are not; yet the Scriptures
to maintain their old ground; and, most evidently declare some parti-
therefore, they now intimate, that culars so to be; and I cannot but
apostles and evangelists were mis-consider the doctrine of our Lord's
taken, and that several books of the Deity as one of these, nor hesitate
scripture are not authentic. Thus to say, that Christianity itself must
they save themselves much trouble, stand or fall with it. The greater
by answering all our witnesses at decision is proper on this subject,
once and doubtless they act pru- as our opponents seem lately to
dently, in imitating the church of have shifted their ground: they
Rome, by constituting themselves used to say, that" Christ's divinity
judges of the scripture, determining was the masterpiece of absurdities
what parts of it are authentic, and directly contrary to every part of
making their own scheme the stand-natural and revealed religion, and
ard, by which it is to be interpreted to all the rational faculties God has
for neither of their systems can given us:" "that a deceived heart
subsist, except by a proportionable had turned those aside who hold
disregard to, and degradation of the the doctrine:" and "that, by mak-
word of God. I feel a confidence, ing more Gods than one, it was a
that each of the arguments here ad-breach of the first commandment,”
duced are separately conclusive: &c. This was a direct charge of
how great then must be the united gross idolatry (which surely must
force of them? Yet only a small be a mortal sin): and as the de-
part of the evidence can be contain-fenders of the doctrine denied, and
ed in so brief an essay. I would even retorted the charge (showing,
therefore conclude, with observing, that another god is substituted by
that the scriptures were written to Socinians in the place of the God of
recover men from idolatry to the the Bible), the cause was fairly at
worship of the true God: and that issue, and was allowed to be of the
idolatry consists in worshiping such greatest possible importance, and
as by nature are no gods. What therefore entitled to the most care-
then shall we think of all the texts ful, serious, and impartial investi-
here adduced, if Christ be not God; gation. But at present men are ge-
or what shall we say to John's con- nerally put off their guard by the
clusion of his epistle? Having men- plausible and indolent sentiment,
tioned Jesus Christ, he adds, "This that speculative opinions are of lit-
person (ovrog) is the true God, and
eternal life. Little children, keep
yourselves from idols" (1 John v.
20, 21).


On the Doctrine of our Lord's Deity, showing it to be essential to Chris tianity; with a brief Answer to some Objections.

tle consequence, and that doctrinal
errors will not condemn those who
are sincere and lead good lives.
And an attempt has lately been
made, by a champion of the party
to persuade a very large body of
men, who universally profess the
doctrine of Christ's Deity, that
there is no essential difference be-
tween them and the Socinians! On
the other hand, some able defenders
of the doctrine seem disposed to al-

* Dr. Priestley's Address to the Metho

WE may not, in all cases, be able to
determine exactly what things are
essential to our holy religion, and dists; Preface to the Letters of the Wes


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low, that the belief of it is not ne-Judge, they "do not honour the cessary to salvation, or essential to Father that sent him." So that, if Christianity; nay, that they, who our doctrine be true, it must be esmost strenuously oppose it (and not sential to Christianity. It appears, always in the most unexceptionable from Scripture already referred to manner), may yet be accepted of (Matt. xi. 27; Luke x. 22), that God as sincere believers. Thus the they have no true knowledge of the subject, which used to be consider- Father, who do not receive it from ed as of the utmost importance, is the revelation made of him by the now generally thought to be rather Son; but how can that man be a matter of doubtful disputation thought to learn the knowledge of among Christians, than immediately the Father from the Son, who disreconnected with our eternal interests; gards his express declarations," that and the cause hath more to fear from He and the Father are one;" "He the indolent and contemptuous in- that hath seen him hath seen the difference of mankind, as to theolo- Father," &c.? If these words do gical questions, which are not sup- indeed imply the Deity of the Son posed essential to salvation, than as one with the Father, the knowfrom the most strenuous and inge-ledge of God, which they who deny nious efforts of its most learned his Deity possess, cannot accord to opponents. the revelation made to the Son, but The

I shall therefore endeavour, in must be of another nature. this essay, to show, that the doctrine apostle says (1 John ii. 22, 23), of our Lord's Deity is essential to "whosoever denieth the Son, the the faith and hope of a Christian: same hath not the Father." But and this will introduce many argu- can any man suppose this related ments in proof of it, which have not only to a denial that Jesus was the before been adverted to. Messiah? If this were all that was

1. There are several texts of meant, then only avowed unbeScripture which expressly prove the lievers were concerned in the warnpoint. The Lord Jesus himself de-ing; whereas it is manifest, that the clares," that the Father hath com- apostle spoke of those who seduced, mitted all judgment to the Son, that not such as opposed his Christian all men should honour the Son, even brethren; and who, by denying as they honour the Father: he that Jesus to be the Son of God, drew honoureth not the Son honoureth them off from the true doctrine in not the Father," &c. (John v. 22, that particular. As therefore, they 23). If then, the doctrine of his" who denied the Son, had not the Deity be true, and if the very end Father," the inference is unavoidof his mediatory authority, as the able, that they who deny the ScripSon of man (ver. 27), were this, ture doctrine concerning the Son of that all men should honour him God (whatever that doctrine be), with the same kind and degree of have not the Father for their God honour that is shown to the Father, and portion. Many errors relate to then such persons as deny his Deity, different parts of the structure, the refuse to worship him, and spend removal of which (though ill spared) their lives, with all their power, to may not wholly subvert it; but this draw men off from this faith and concerns the foundation, and is of worship, do not honour him at all, fatal consequence, "for other founbut greatly degrade him; and there-dation can no man lay," &c. (1 Cor. fore by the verdict of their future iii. 10-15.) Again, the apostle (1

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