Page images
PDF
EPUB

and natural signification of one God, is one person, one in. finite mind or intelligent agent, and that this is also demon. stratively proved by God's making use of the singular pro. nouns, I, and ME, in speaking to man; and by being addressed and spoken of by others, with the pronouns, THOU and HE, which are also singolar. We replied to objections founded upon the plural termination of the word ELOHIM or ALEIM in the Hebrew language ; and also upon God's speaking in the plural in a few passages of the Old Testament. What we have now before us, is the second and third divisions of our first proposition, which as they are closely connected and tend mutually, to throw light upon one another, we shall put into one. Oar subject to-day, therefore, is to consider those passages of scripture, which ascribe such high titles and sublime epithets to the Father, and so absolutely restrict the unity or one Godhead to him ; as render it impossible to suppose that any being in heaven or in earth, can be equal to him, or compared with him.

John vi. 45, 46. It is written in the prophets, and they shall be alí taught of God. Every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father.” John vii. 54. * Jesus answered, if I honour myself, my honour is nothing, it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God.' John xiii. 3. Jesus knowing that the Fem ther had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God.' John xiv. 1, 2. "Let not your heart be troubled ; ye believe in God, believe also in me, in my Father's house are many mansions,' &c. John xvi. 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. At that day ye shall ask in my name : and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Fa. ther for yon. For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God. I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world : again, I leave the world and go to the Father. His disciples said unto him, lo, now speakest thou plainly, and speakest no proverb. Now we are sure that thou knuwest all things, and needest not that any man should ask thee : by this we believe that thou camest forth from God.' Johu xx. '17. Go to my brethren and say unto

ca

them, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.' i Thes. iii. 11. Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto you.' Rom. i. 7. • Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.' 1. Cor. i. 1, 2, 3, 4. Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ, through the will of God, and Sosthenes our bro. ther; unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours. Grace be unto you and

peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ.' 2 Cor. i. 1, 2, 3, 4. "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, unto the church of God which is at Corinth, with all the saints which are in all Achaia. Grace be to you, and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort ; who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.' Gal. i. 1, %, 3, 4, 5. . Paul an apostle (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father who raised him from the dead) and all the brethren which are with me, upto the churches of Galatia.

Grace be unto you,

od peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ : who gave himself for our sins, that he might de. liver us from this present evil world, according to the will of God and our Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever, Amen.' Eph. i. 1, 2, 3. Paul an ápostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephe. sus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus. Grace be to you, and

peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ, &c. 1. Pet. i. ), 2, 3. Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, elect according to the foreknowledge of

[ocr errors]

God the Father, through sanctification of the spirit unto obedience, and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ : Grace unto you, and peace be multiplied. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,' &c.

In like manner one may peruse all the introductory addresses in the other Epistles, where the style will be always found uniform and similar to this; or at least not contradictory to it. The most superficial reader cannot but observe a striking difference, betwixt the style of the inspired writers, and that of modern Trinitarians; God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost is their lan. guage; but God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ, is the language of the venerable Apostles. There is not such an expression as God the Son, or God the Holy Ghost, to be found in all the New Testament. Had the inspired A postles known that our Lord Jesus Christ was God equal with the Father, they would undoubtedly have called him so : and if the Holy Ghost had been a distinct person, equal with God the Father, a very different language would have been held concerning him also. But these are improvements in divinity for which we are indebted to the ingen uity' of later times. Should it be asked, if Jesus Christ is not God equal with the Father, why is he joined with him in the beginning of the Epistles ? and grace, mercy,

and
peace,

wished from him as well as the Father The answer is short and plain, Jesus Christ after his re. surrection from the dead, was made Lord and Christ by the Father, as we are informed in the Acts of the Apostles ; and was constituted head over all things to his church; and as Mediator between God and man, he is the great medium by which all gospel blessings descend to us, and is, there. fore, properly coupled with the Father in all the apostolical benedictions and salutations. The passages we have al.. ready quoted, to which a great number might be added, are sufficiently plain and clear to prove our point: but we shall produce others still more express and decisive. Luke x. 21. In that hour Jesiis rejoiced in spirit; and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and carth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent,

goset

and hast revealed them unto babes : even so, Father; for so it seemeth good in thy sight.'

Here the Father is characterised as the Lord, or absolute master of heaven and earth; or of the whole creation. It is saying in other words, that he is dependent upon none, and accountable to none for his conduct; that he does what he wills in the armies of heaven, and amongst the in. habitants of this lower world, that none can stay his om. pipotent hand from working, ncither dare any say unto him. What dost thou ?' and our Lord Jesus acquiesces with pleasure and satisfaction in his providential dispensations ; and thanks him for having hid the great truths of the pel, from haughty, selfish, and worldly-minded men, (here called the wise and prudent) who will not receive the truth in the love thereof; and for having revealed or made known these salutary truths, to men of opposite characters and tempers compared for their mildness and do. cility to babes.

John iv. 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24. - The woman saith unto him, sir, I perceive thou art a prophet. Our Fa. ther's worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what; we know what we worship : for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth : for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.'

In this passage our Saviour points out to us, the great object of religious worship and adoration. the Father only that the devout Jews worshipped. They had no conception of any other divine agent or person, but him alone. There existed a dispute betwixt the Jews and Samaritans, concerning the mode or manner of worship. The former asserted that Jerusalem was the place where men ought to worship; and where the religious festivals ought to be held : and the latter contended that Mount Gerizim was the proper place for celebrating the ordidances of religion. Our Saviour decides the controrersy

It was

clearly in favour of his countrymen the Jews; and tells the woman that the Samaritans worshipped they knew not what. But at the same time lets her know for her com. fort, that this advantage which the Jews possessed over the Samaritans, was not at that period of time a matter of great consequence ; for, says he, the hour cometh, and Dow is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father, in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.' From this place of scripture a very considerable argument may be formed in favour of the Unitarians. For it proves that the Father, and the Father only (as before taken notice of) was the object of worship under the Jewish dispensation ; and that he is still the object whom the true worshippers shall worship, under the new or gospel dispensation. Had there been a Son or Holy Spirit, equal with the Father, and entitled to equal ho. nour and glory with him, undoubtedly our Lord would not have failed to have communicated this important piece of information to the woman of Samaria. But it is here made the characteristic of the true worshippers, that they worship the Father in spirit and in truth. What kind of worshippers must we then suppose those to be, who set up two other objects of supreme worship besides the Father.

That the Father is the great object of religious worship and adoration, and consequently alone possessed of supreme Godhead, is farther demonstrated, from the prac. tice of Christ : who always prayed to the Father when on earth, and commanded his disciples to do so likewise. We never read of our Lord Jesus praying to the Holy Ghost; or ascribing glory to him. But he tells us ex. pressly, Math. vi. 6. But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret ; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.' And again verse is, "After this manner pray ye: Our Father who art in heaven,' &c. It is true, our Lord afterwards was pleased to give us frather directions concerning prayer ; by commanding us to pray in his name; and the apostle Paul desires us, that, whatever we do, do all in the

« PreviousContinue »